Upshernish 3rd Birthday

Upshernish 3rd Birthday from Idea Land blog #birthday #jewish #boy #favor #gift(Used in this project: Square Labels in Metropolitan style.)

An “Upshernish” is a special ceremony that celebrates the 3rd birthday of a Jewish boy, with a traditional first hair cut!

Roots of a tree need to grow strong in order to have a strong foundation and bear fruit. In Jewish law, one does not harvest the fruits from a tree during its first three years, nurturing its roots, so it may withstand the elements of nature, and stay strong. So too, we leave the hair of a Jewish boy uncut for the first three years of life, symbolizing the strengthening of his Jewish roots, heritage and history.

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Upshernish 3rd Birthday from Idea Land blog #birthday #jewish #boy #favor #gift

It is a beautiful ceremony where guests take turns cutting strands of hair from the birthday boy. I am always in awe at the transformation of that ‘baby-like’ face into a real little boy’s face. It is a special day, complete with birthday cakes, treats, decorations and favors. Yet there is an added component of spirituality that illuminates this milestone. It is customary to give the birthday boy a few coins for him to put into his Tzedakah box (charity box), wishing him “Mazal Tov” (literally ‘Good Fortune’), and educating him to be aware of giving to others who are less fortunate than ourselves. A beautiful value to teach all our children, from a very young age.

Upshernish 3rd Birthday from Idea Land blog #birthday #jewish #boy #favor #gift

I hosted an “upshernish” for close friends of ours whose sweet little twins, with the most gorgeous light brown curls, were keeping this tradition. With their matching ‘construction’ themed yarmulkas (or kippahs, skullcaps, worn to remind boys and men that G-d is above them. Girls and women do not need this reminder because they inherently have a deeper understanding and awareness of G-d) and their Tzitzit (four cornered garment which they wear to symbolize the 613 commandments) these twins celebrated this momentous occasion, highlighting their connection to their rich history and Jewish roots.

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The extra little details of their names on the favor bags really added to that special moment, a memory of their third birthday and their first hair cut! I used the same label to decorate their very own Tzedakah box, which was used during the hair cutting ceremony and given to the twins as a gift to take home.

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Used In This Project:

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Chana Scop (92 Posts)

Chana is a proud wife and mother of eight living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of every day life and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish faith and shlichus on her blog, Chana's Art Room and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop.


2 Comments

  1. THANK YOU FOR THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CEREMONY. IT WAS EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND HELPFUL. IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND EASY READING FOR THESE EVENTS.

    I AM STILL LOOKING FOR A CARD TO GIVE A CHILD. I SEE INVITATIONS AND THANK YOU NOTES, BUT NOT A BIRTHDAY CARD. DID I MISS THEM?

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