Should a father get an Aliyah for a child’s birthday?

Should a father get an Aliyah for a child’s birthday?[1]

There is certainly no prohibition in having a father purchase an Aliyah the Shabbos prior to his child’s birthday or the birthday of his wife, and have it dedicated in their merit. However, we also do not find any record of such a Jewish custom having existed. Likewise, such a directive was never included by the Rebbe in his public directives which he asked to be followed on a birthday. Nonetheless, there are some individuals who are particular to try to get an Aliyah on behalf of such an occasion, based on a talk of the Rebbe[2] in which he stated that parents should follow the birthday directives on behalf of their children who cannot do so on their own. Now, while the Rebbe did mention an increase of learning Torah and giving charity, no mention was made of getting in an Aliyah.[3] Accordingly, some completely negate this new custom.[4] Whatever the case, as stated initially, there is no issue with doing so, however it should not be turned into an obligation in which people can demand from the Gabaiy to give them an Aliyah on this behalf. Certainly, such an individual does not push off any Chiyuv, including an adult who has a birthday that week or on that day, in which case there exists a public directive from the Rebbe for him to get an Aliyah. The following therefore is the suggestive approach: If somebody would like to get an Aliyah on behalf of his child or wife, then he should purchase it, or ask the Gabaiy if he can receive an Aliyah even though he is not a Chiyuv and does not have a birthday. It has happened in the past, that such people have simply told the Gabbaiy that they need an Aliyah for a birthday, and the Gabaiy ended up differing people who had a real birthday of their own, or even a real Chiyuv, due to them not explaining the reason for their request.  


[1] See Hiskashrus 957 p. 14; Al Minhagim Umikoroseihem [Bloy] p. 87

[2] Hisvadyus 1982 4/2190

[3] However, in a private directive to Rabbi Shmuel Lew, the Rebbe is quoted to have told him to receive an Aliyah prior to the birthday of his daughter. [See Hiskashrus ibid]

[4] See Al Minhagim Umikoroseihem ibid

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