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Sivan 25, 5778

number 26

Rabbi Ari Shvat

Im turning 26 on Sunday its my Hebrew birthday, what does the number 26 symbolize? Anything we should be doing on our Hebrew birthday? Can you explain number 26 in Judaism? Also, I want to give 26 dollars to Tzedaka is that good?

Mazel Tov! The number 26 is actually maybe the greatest of numbers, for its the numerical value in Hebrew of Gods Name (Y=10+ H=5+ V=6+H=5), and you cant get more significant than that! In general, on our Hebrew birthdays we should:
a. Thank God for another year and pray (and maybe even ask others to bless you) for another, even better, good, healthy and spiritual year (the Tzitz Eliezer)
b. Take stock and examine what have I accomplished this year, what should be my goals for the next year, how could I implement them pragmatically and how can I improve and be a better person and better Jew (Lubavitcher Rebbe).
c. Celebrate it as the anniversary of your becoming Bat Mitzva and beginning to fulfill Torah commandments as a Jewish adult (Ben Ish Chai). This applies even to baalei tshuva, for everybody does good deeds, and from your 12th birthday and on, they really counted that much more. This point obviously doesnt apply to young children, so ironically, adults have more reason to celebrate their birthday than children do!
d. Give tzedaka ($26 or whatever your age is, is a great idea!) and do as many mitzvahs as you can to start out the new year on the right foot and set the positive tone. Your birthday is like your personal Rosha HaShanna (New Year)!
So Happy Birthday and much physical and spiritual happiness and fulfillment to you, and may Hashem grant you all the good that your heart desires, especially to speedily build a Jewish home in Israel with your eternal soulmate!

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