The Chabad Youth Network of Florida introduced a new and exciting workshop this year. Taught by Rabbi Shmuly Gutnick, the traveling Birthday Workshop explains the importance of a Jewish name, Jewish birthday and Jewish pride.
The traveling workshop was recently presented to many schools in South Florida and was enjoyed by hundreds of students.
From the first moment of the workshop the students were fascinated. The Rabbi explained the importance of a Jewish birthday and a Jewish name. He told of how G-d assists parents in choosing the name for their child and that a person’s name is connected to their soul and should therefore be used proudly and often.
He also explained that on a birthday the person has a special mazel and should use the day wisely by learning Torah, giving charity, and doing acts of goodness and kindness. A birthday is a mini Rosh Hashana where each person makes a calculation of all their actions in the past year and makes a new resolution for the coming year.
The students listened intently and even bombarded the Rabbi with many questions of what they can do on their birthday to make it special. Some students wanted to know if they can have two parties, and why it wasn’t actually one birthday for both the English and Hebrew birthday.
Rabbi G. explained that the English and Hebrew calendars are different and how the English calendar goes according to the solar and the Hebrew according to the lunar and therefore the dates do not coincide.
Many students did not know their Jewish birthday and Rabbi G. figured it out for them.
At the conclusion of the exciting and informative workshop each child received a “Jewish” birth certificate with their Hebrew name and birthday. In addition, the students each had their picture taken holding their birth certificate and with it created a pin-on button as a memento.