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I have noticed more 83 year old men celebrating their second bar mitzvahs, and cannot find any source for this. Is it a new custom? Does it have any basis in pre-20th century practice?

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cmose, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for bringing your question here! I hope you get useful answers to this question and that you'll also look around the site and find other material that interests you, perhaps including our 30 other bar-mitzvah questions. – Isaac Moses Feb 10 '14 at 21:21
The first time I heard of this concept, was back in 1999 when Kirk Douglas had a second "Bar Mitzvah" which was well covered by the media. (He has since had a third בר מצוה!) – Ephraim Feb 11 '14 at 8:28

The rationale behind it is that Tehillim describes a lifetime as seventy years in the verse

ימי שנותינו בהם שבעים שנה ואם בגבורות שמונים שנה

(90:10.) Thus -- the reasoning goes -- 83 is 13 years into your "second lifetime" which is as good an excuse for a kiddush as any. I do not know of any source for it prior to the twentieth century or of any book of halacha or official minhagim that quotes it, but that doesn't mean anything.

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Is that your own reasoning or you heard it somewhere? Either way, it's cute. +1 – Y ez Feb 11 '14 at 0:41
I heard it from several people, mostly people celebrating their own second bar mitzvahs – Yitzchak Feb 11 '14 at 2:44
So when we all Gd-willing hit 93, on our way to many more years, do we make a 3rd bar mitzvah? +1 – Baby Seal Feb 11 '14 at 6:31
I would guess so. שנזכה! – Yitzchak Feb 11 '14 at 15:37
@BabySeal No, it would be every 70 years since the Tehillim says you live 70 years Therefore, you a reborn Jew, and at 83 you are 13. My father always asks the question if a 70 year need to get recircumscised? – user9341 Apr 24 '15 at 12:56

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