What exactly are we celebrating on a birthday? For the past nine months, the baby ate, drank, and breathed through his mother. Now, he needs to learn his own survival skills.
Additionally, the Gemara teaches that while the fetus is in the womb, he is taught the entire Torah. Immediately before birth, an angel taps the child and the Torah is forgotten.
Both physically and spiritually, the fetus compromises as he enters into the world. Why then is a birthday celebrated for a lifetime?
The nature of the fetus is to take. At birth, his entire existence shifts. Now, he can be a giver. He can leave his mark on the world. Even a newborn can have an impact. A baby sparks joy and happiness in the hearts of those around him. As the child grows, his ability to affect the world around him increases.
Pinatas, cakes, and sparklers are nice. This year, take the celebration up a notch and consider the inner dimension of your birthday. On a birthday we reflect on our mission. Are we making a difference in this world?
A birthday is an auspicious time to increase in tzedakah and Torah study. We resolve to grow in our mitzvah performance in the coming year. We celebrate with family and friends to usher in the new resolutions with joy. We thank Hashem for granting us life.