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Can a bar/bat mitzvah be postponed or advanced?

Can a bar/bat mitzvah be postponed or advanced?

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Question:

My son is turning thirteen in January of next year. My daughter will become twelve two months later. We would like to have a joint celebration for their bar and bat mitzvah. Can either my son’s bar mitzvah be delayed, or can my daughter’s bat mitzvah be celebrated earlier?

Answer:

Mazel tov to your family! The day of a person’s Jewish 12th or 13th birthday is very significant and should be marked appropriately. This, however, does not mean that a lavish event must be scheduled for that day.

A girl can mark her bat mitzvah on her Jewish birthday in the following way: as bat mitzvah is the moment when a Jewish girl becomes a woman, you and your daughter may want to focus on the mitzvot which are particularly pertinent to women, such as lighting Shabbat candles, and challah. Click here for some inspirational articles on these subjects.

A boy celebrates his bar mitzvah by going to the synagogue on his Jewish 13th birthday, donning tefillin, and being called up to the Torah—if it is a day when the Torah is read. Otherwise, he is called up on the first “Torah-reading day” that follows his birthday. Click here for more information on the mitzvah of tefillin.

The above should all be done on their Jewish birthdays, accompanied by at least a small, modest celebration. The grand celebrations can be scheduled for another date, ideally following the bar or bat mitzvah. Thus, if you are interested in having a joint celebration, preferably it should wait until your daughter’s bat mitzvah.

Best wishes,

Chani Benjaminson
Chabad.org

P.S. Use our Jewish/Civil Date Converter to find out your children’s exact Jewish birthdays.

Chani Benjaminson is co-director of Chabad of the South Coast, coordinator of Chabad’s Ask the Rabbi and Feedback departments, and is a member of the editorial staff of Chabad.org.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Mrs. Chana Benjaminson via chabadone.org November 16, 2015

To Emily Mazal tov to both of you!
A rabbi can help work out the dates in a way that it works according to Jewish law. Reply

Emily Waskow Colorado November 8, 2015

Hey! I am having my Bat Mitzvah with my brother on Saturday. I would like to let you guys know that you can do it together! I am 12 and my brother is 13. Neither of us are doing it on our birthdays! We are still doing this correctly, and this is an available option to everyone! Reply

Meira Shana San Diego July 28, 2014

76 at my Bat Mitzvah in 2015 It's never too late. Raised orthodox there was no such thing as a formal Bat Mitzvah when I was a child.

So, now I'm studying and continuing my talks with G-d and G-d with me.

My experiences with attending Bar/Bat Mitzvahs over the years have shown me that if I make a mistake, there will be someone by my side to help me.

I am grateful to G-d, to my rabbi, and to my Hebrew teacher. I can still read Hebrew, and am trying to learn how to speak the language. My life continues to be about learning, even if everything can't be totally accomplished.

I'm never too old to try. G-d has provided lots of wondrous things on Earth. G-d's gift to me was my life; what I do with my life is my gift back to G-d. Reply

Lisa Providence, RI April 30, 2013

Can a Bar or Bat Mitzvah be postponed? I was born with Asperger's Syndrome, and I wasn't able to become a Bat Mitzvah as a child because I failed Hebrew School, and I went to school away from home.

I waited until my 36th birthday, when I was finally stable enough to concentrate.
Reply

Barbara Niles Phoenix, AZ June 2, 2011

Equality and a Joint Celebration Why can't the girl be called to the Torah just like the boy? There is some sort of inequity here as the girl can only light Shabbat candles and bake challah while the boy is called to the Torah. Why shouldn't both children be able to celebrate their Bar/Bat Mitzvot together? I think that was what the mother was asking about. She wants to have one event for both of them. Reply

jenny LA, CA via chabadlosfeliz.org June 1, 2011

I never had a bat mitzvah and now I am an adult. What now ( Reply

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