Do you say Boruch Shepatrani for a girl at her Bas Mitzva? If not, why not?


4 Answers 4


The Yalkut Yosef says that it depends on the reason for saying the blessing:

  1. We say it because the boy will no longer be punished for the father's sins (and [underage] girls are punished the same way [underage] boys are).

  2. We say it because the father will no longer be punished for the boys sins (as he is no longer responsible to educate him). (And one is not obligated to educate girls to the same way as boys).

I don't remember his final conclusion, but (at least in the Chabad world), I have never heard of it being said by a bas-mitzva.

  • Sounds remarkably similar to the discussion in the teshuva that I referenced in my answer. I wonder if their conclusions match too? :)
    – Double AA
    Apr 24, 2012 at 17:08
  • @DoubleAA he references his father. I don't own a copy and neither does hebrewbooks. Apr 24, 2012 at 17:09

Rav Ovadya Yosef, in Yabia Omer 6 OC 29, writes that one should say the blessing (ברוך שפטרני מעונשה של זו) at the Bat Mitzva celebration without God's name, just as one should recite it without God's name at a boy's Bar Mitzva celebration.

  • Does Rav Yosef (cited in Double AA's answer) specify that the language for a bat mitzvah should conclude with של זאת?
    – Shemmy
    Apr 24, 2012 at 22:17
  • @Shemmy The quoted lashon is straight out of his teshuva.
    – Double AA
    Apr 24, 2012 at 22:34
  • Shut HaRav HaRashi #58
    – Double AA
    Jan 16, 2018 at 19:27
  • @Shemmy של זאת is the lashon given by Yitzchak Nissim, the chief sephardi rabbi of Israel prior to Ovadia Yosef. See my answer below for more. Mar 19, 2020 at 19:15

There are many poskim with answers to this question. Note that there are various opinions as to why we say this bracha in the first place, so not every posek uses the same assumptions in order to draw their conclusions. Here are a few of the major opinions:

  • Rabbi Jacob Chagiz, (17th century, Morocco, Italy, Israel) - Say it for a girl. He follows the reasoning that since both sons and daughters are liable for the sins of their father, both would obligate the father to say the bracha upon reaching the age of majority. It may be interesting to note that this is the first source I could find that addressed the issue directly.
  • Rabbi Davd Luria (19th century) - Only say it for a boy. His reasoning is that because the source of the bracha is a midrash in Bereshit Rabbah that mentions sons only, it is only said for sons.
  • Kaf HaChayim (19-20 century, Baghdad)- Only said for sons because daughters continue to be "nourished by their father's houses" until their wedding.
  • Chaim David HaLevy (20th century, Israel) - We only say for sons. His reasoning is that the bracha is because the father is required to teach his son torah. Since there isn't as much of an obligation to teach Torah to daughters, we don't say a blessing for them.
  • Yitzchak Nissim (20th century, Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel) - He says to say it for a daughter, and even provides a new nusach for the bracha with female pronouns (ברוך שפטרני מעונשה של זאת). His reasoning is that it's because a daughter also requires education and is punished for her father's sins.
  • Ovadia Yosef (20th century, Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel) - Say it for a daughter. He also provides a new nusach using feminine pronouns. He analyzes the issue from two perspectives, one that we bless because the child is punished for the sins of the father, and one that the father is punished for the actions of the child. Either way, he believes it applies to a daughter as well.
  • Yona Metzger (20-21 century, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel) - Only say it for sons. His reasoning is that sons require education but daughters don't.
  • For the Kaf Hachayim wouldn't that mean you should say it at her wedding?
    – Heshy
    Mar 19, 2020 at 19:24
  • Do the ones who say it say to say it with God's name? If not you can't prove what they would hold about girls for those who say to say the blessing for boys with God's name.
    – Double AA
    Mar 19, 2020 at 19:47
  • @Heshy He doesn't say that explicitly, but you could certainly say it if you wanted to. However, reading his words he's trying to explain the dominant custom (or not saying it for a daughter), and offers that as his reasoning. If I had to guess, since it was not the custom to say it at a wedding either, I would guess that he would not want to say it there either as it isn't/wasn't the custom. Mar 20, 2020 at 17:54
  • @DoubleAA The majority of achronim say to say the bracha without shem or malchut for boys, so there is little differentiation for girls. Mar 20, 2020 at 17:56
  • All the more so it would be important to note if someone say to say for girls with God's name. As it is now it's ambiguous. Explicit is better.
    – Double AA
    Mar 20, 2020 at 18:13

The Peri Megadim (O.C. 225:5) asks why one does not say this blessing for a girl, and explains that if you assume that the reason for saying it for a boy is that the father is punished for not educating his son, this would be inapplicable by a girl. However, he notes that according to the Levush's explanation that the son gets punished for the father's sins, there should be no difference between a boy and a girl:

והנה למה לא יברך בנקיבה י"ב שנים וב' שערות לפירוש הלבוש דבנים קטנים נענשים בשביל אב לא שנא זכרים ונקיבות ולמאן דאמר חינוך י"ל דאין מחויב לחנך בתו קטנה עיין מ"א [סימן] (שמ"א) [שמג] [ס"ק] א' גם למאן דאמר מחויב אין בה כל כך מצות שמחויב לחנכה בקטנותה ואם משיאה לאיש בקטנותה קנין אישה הוית ואין נענשת בשביל אביה

Note, though, that he doesn't conclude that (according to this reason) one should say it for a girl; he merely wonders why we don't.

For a collection of acharonim who discuss this question, see Shu"t Tziyun L'nefesh Chayah # 55.

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