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Should I Celebrate an Accidental Birth?


Question of the Week:

It’s my birthday this weekend but I have always felt funny about celebrating it. My birth was a bit of an accident. My parents said I was a surprise, they thought they weren’t going to have any more children. And I was born six weeks premature. Is there any meaning in celebrating the day that I wasn’t really supposed to have been born?


Your birthday is chosen by G-d, not your parents, your astrologer or the obstetrician. Birth is G-d saying that the world can’t go on without you. It is the day that your soul’s mission had to begin.

There were already more than six billion people on earth when you were born. Did the world really need you? Can one more soul really make a difference? Obviously the answer is yes. Otherwise G-d would not have sent your soul to this earth. The fact that you were born means there must be some unique contribution that you have for the world that none of those other six billion people could possibly offer.

A birthday is an opportunity to reflect: This is the day that my soul was despatched on its mission. How is the mission going? Have I been doing my part to enhance and improve myself and my world? How much time and energy do I spend on meaningful pursuits? How much more time could I spend on what really matters in the coming year?

Far from being an accident, your birth was clearly a deliberate act. The fact that you surprised your parents, and you arrived early just shows how urgently the world needed you. Your soul couldn’t even wait a few weeks for the due date to get down here. G-d had another due date in mind.

Your soul was sent down by priority delivery. Make sure your soul always remains a priority.

Good Shabbos (and Happy Birthday),
Rabbi Moss

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