closeup of some unlit candles and just one lit candle after blowing out the cake

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday world
Hayom Harat Olam
On making it another year,
On faking it another year
Like they earned it
Like we earned it
Riding the momentum of the universe
Orbiting the sun
More year
Happy birthday, world
It’s like congratulating a one year old on surviving
Even though you’re the one
Chasing after
Watching over
Our self-destructive madness

How did it feel, God
The day after
You gave birth
The breathtaking beauty of the earth
Tangible, physical
Your own holiness still invisible
Were you bruised and battered
Did your heart
Start to feel like it was beating
On the outside
For the first time
Did you feel
Vulnerable, God
Like you could be touched
Like you could be destroyed?

While you labored you chanted
Ki tov, Ki tov, Ki tov
How good it is, How good it is
Was that your diagnosis
Or was that your prayer
That a helpless pile of creation
Would eventually get there
To the good, to where you could
Honestly say we were good
To say, I did that
I made that
Mistakes and all, I prayed that
Into existence
And on days when much doesn’t make sense
Maybe you could reach out to touch us
Maybe that’s when you could hold us a little tighter
And notice we are lighter than air
And you’d wonder what the world would be like without our light there
Maybe our mortality fuels Your ability to care
We make You aware
We are what make You vulnerable
And we are what make You great
Our praise comes with our ability to love
But you’ve seen that we’re equally capable
of acting out of hate
The anxiety of parenthood
That’s the price of making the world
And commanding us to be good
Because sometimes all you get to do is
Stand there, leaning over the cake
And sing Happy Birthday, World
While you help us blow out the candle
And then you stand there and wait

Discover More

Make Your Own Bialys At Home with Pizza Dough

You don't need to live near a Jewish deli to get hot, toasty bialys, fresh from the oven.

Our Prophets, Ourselves: Jonah, Judgment and the Act of Repentance

In many ways, the message of the Book of Jonah seems antithetical to that of Yom Kippur.

Havdalah: Taking Leave of Shabbat

We say goodbye to the Sabbath in a bittersweet ceremony that employs wine, fragrance, and candlelight.

6 Tips for Hosting a Solo Passover Seder

Having a Seder by yourself or with a small group doesn't have to be a lonely experience.

Passover 2021

In 2021, the first Passover seder is on Saturday, April March 27.

Lighting Shabbat Candles

Everything you need to know about kindling the Sabbath lights.

Shabbat Blessings for Friday Night

Lighting the candles, saying Kiddush and other Shabbat dinner rituals.

Modern Jewish Holidays 101

There are a handful of holidays that entered Jewish life in the latter half of the 20th century.