Bar Mitzvah

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

When?

  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.[2]

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. [3] This beracha is typically recited when the son is called to the torah for the first time after concluding the beracha of his aliya. [4]

Other Practices

  1. It is a good practice to have the bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl eat a new fruit or wear a new clothing in order to make a Shehechiyanu on the day that the boy or girl becomes obligated in mitzvot. Upon reciting the Shehechiyanu, the boy or girl should have in mind that he is accepting the obligation of fulfilling all the mitzvot. [5]

Sources

  1. Pirkei Avot 5:25
  2. Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (v. 2, p. 705). See further in the Bach O.C. 14, Magen Avraham 14, Shach, Sma, and Tumim C.M. 35.
  3. Rama 225:2, Mishna Brurah 225:8, BeYitzchak Yikrah 225:2 in name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and Piksei Teshuvot 225:5 conclude that one should make the Bracha without a Shem UMalchut.
  4. Kitzur S"A 61:8.
  5. Kaf HaChaim 225:12 and Ben Ish Chai Reeh 17 say that a bar mitzvah boy and a bat mitzvah girl should wear a new shirt or eat a new fruit on the day he/she becomes bar or bat mitzvah'ed and have in mind with the Shehechiyanu that it should also cover his/her new acceptance of mitzvot.