My Mother and I have a custom around my birthday: she, of course, wishes me the standard "Happy Birthday" greeting. I respond, "Happy BIRTHING Day, emphasizing her continuing role in my life. On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the world's birthday...
Who can forget the iconic Sabbath Blessing duet from the movie "Fiddler on the Roof"? The parents in each household in the shtetl, the Jewish village, make, in essence, (although in English) the same blessing over their children as their ancestors made, and as we say today,
" May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe", for boys, and
"May God make you like Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah" (Some put Leah first, as she became Jacob's wife before her younger sister, who was promised to him, did, but that's another story), for girls.
Like many of you, I never thought to question or examine this more deeply,