Bar Mitzvah

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

At the age of thirteen years old, a boy becomes obligated in performing mitzvot.[1]


  1. One should make a festive meal in honor of the occasion of his son turning 13 years old and entering the obligation of fulfilling mitzvot.[2] This meal is considered a Seudat Mitzvah.[3]
  2. The boy should learn Torah as much as possible on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. It is a nice practice to learn mishnayot.[4]


  1. According to the majority of poskim, a boy becomes bar mitzvah from Tzet HaKochavim of the day he was born 13 years prior, and not at the time of the day when he was born.[5] Obviously this refers to the date on the Hebrew (lunar) calendar, rather than the date on the English (solar) calendar.[6]
  2. A child who has reached the age of 13, even if he has not yet grown two pubic hairs, must wear tefillin and fulfill other mitzvot. However, he should not be the one to help others fulfill their obligations in mitzvot, such as by reading Parashat Zachor.[7]
  3. If for whatever reason, the celebration of the bar mitzva is pushed off, one should not push off beginning to perform the mitzvot that he is required to perform such as wearing tefillin.[8]

Baruch Shepatrani

  1. Upon the Bar Mitzvah of one’s son’s, the father should make the Bracha of Barach ShePotrani MeOnsho Shel Zeh, that he is no longer responsible for his child's deeds, without Shem UMalchut. [9] This beracha is typically recited when the son is called to the torah for the first time after concluding the beracha of his aliya.[10] Sephardim should also recite the bracha without shem umalchut.[11]


  1. Regarding the recitation of Shehecheyanu on the day of one's Bar Mitzva and for wearing tefillin for the first time, see Shehechiyanu_for_Mitzvot

Birkot Hatorah on the Day of the Bar Mitzva

  1. On the night that a child becomes a Bar Mitzva, there is room to argue that he may not learn Torah before reciting Birkot Hatorah, even if he had recited them already that morning for Chinuch. Therefore, some poskim recommend that when he recites the beracha of Ahavat Olam, he should have in mind to fulfill his obligation for Birkot Hatorah. After Arvit, he should learn Torah.[12] Others think that this is not necessary and the Birkot Hatorah that he recited in the morning allow him to continue learning that night.[13]



  1. Pirkei Avot 5:21. The Rosh (Teshuva Klal `6 Siman 1) writes that this is a Halacha Limoshe Misinai. Bartenura (Avot 5:21), Chayei Adam 66:1, Mishna Berura 55:40 agree
  2. Kaf Hachaim 222:11, Magen Avraham 222:4
  3. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:8, Kaf Hachaim 225:11
  4. Kaf Hachaim 225:12
  5. Mishna Berura 55:42, Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (v. 2, p. 705), Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan ViDinei Bar Mitzva pg. 44, Kaf Hachaim 55:46. See further in the Bach O.C. 14, Magen Avraham 14, Shach, Sma, and Tumim C.M. 35.
    • The Mahari Bruna 200 holds that a boy doesn't reach bar mitzvah until 13 years and one complete day. Shaarei Knesset Hagedola (Hagahot Hatur 55:6) and Ba'er Heitev 53:13 cite this opinion.
    • See Shach CM 35:1 quoting one opinion in Tosfot (Niddah 44b s.v. shloshim) and a possibility in the Lechem Chamudot (Niddah 5:5) that a boy only reaches bar mitzvah at the same hour of day they were born thirteen years earlier. But this is not the accepted halachah.
  6. Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan ViDinei Bar Mitzva pg. 46
  7. Mishna Berura 55:40, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan ViDinei Bar Mitzva pg. 44
  8. Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan ViDinei Bar Mitzva pg. 46
  9. Rama 225:2, Mishna Brurah 225:8, BeYitzchak Yikrah 225:2 in name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and Piskei Teshuvot 225:5 conclude that one should make the Bracha without a Shem UMalchut.
  10. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:8.
  11. Yalkut Yosef (Sovah Semachot v. 2 Bar Mitzvah no. 29)
  12. Yabea Omer 3:27:10, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan pg. 51.
  13. Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz in the name of Rav Osher Weiss (Ten Minute Halacha: Bar Mitzvah Boy Saying Birchas Hatorah at Night)