When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions.

  1. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions?
  2. Would it matter if the bar mitzva had previously learned these portions when he was underage?


The law of completing the portion with the community is brought in Brachos 8a/b followed by the story of R' Bibi bar Abaye who figured on completing it on the eve of Yom Kipur. This would have been acceptable but for a technicality that he should be eating. Does, then, the completion for all previous portions apply at any point in the year as opposed to a weekly basis?

And if so, would that include all portions of the community, or only those read since he became bar mitzva?

If he does have an obligation on portions predating the bar mitzva, could he include portions that he read underage since both times the mitzva was only rabbinic, or do we make a distinction between a single rabbinic and a double rabbinic (The mitzva is rabbinic and his underage obligation to do rabbinic mitzvos is only rabbinic).

  • Similar questions pop up when a katan becomes bar mitzvah during ספירת העומר.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Apr 5, 2018 at 7:15
  • 1
    I think the right answer is clearly, He doesn't need to catch up. This is not based on understanding, but on the fact that no one ever heard of this before. It's interesting to wonder why.
    – MichoelR
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


To address the second question (does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions?): "Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky (Emet L’Yaakov on Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 285, footnote 308) ruled that a boy who becomes Bar Mitzvah in the middle of the year does not have to repeat the Parshiyot that he read shnayim mikra as a kattan, as even a kattan still has a Mitzvah of Talmud Torah (as explained in his Emet L’Yaakov on Kiddushin 29b - 30a)."

From this answer we can address the first question (does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions?). The above answer would imply that if the bar mitzah boy didn't do Shnaim Mikreh before he turned bar mitzvah he would need to repeat all the parashot he missed.

Look here for more info: https://ohr.edu/5029#_edn32


Shulchan Aruch 285:7 (see Beis Yosef there) Paskens that one does not need to read the reading for the Yamim Tovim, based off the decision of the Terumas Hadeshen (1:23). The rationale of the Terumas Hadeshen is almost identical to your assumption above, but based on another later source, rather than from the Gemara in Brachos. He says:

אמנם נראה קצת ראייה מהא דכתב בהגה"ה במיימוני בשם רבינו שמחה ז"ל וז"ל אע"פ שעיקר מצוה כל פרשה ופרשה עם הצבור אם לא עשה כן ישלים כולם בשמיני עצרת שבו גומרים הצבור ובלבד שלא יקדים ולא יאחר יום אחד מן הצבור ע"כ. מהכא נראה מדקבע היום שבו גומרים הצבור חמשה חומשי תורה בכל שנה משמע דעיקר חיוב דאצריכו רבנן להשלים פרשיות עם הצבור היינו כדי שכל אחד מישראל יקרא לעצמו כל התורה מראש ועד סוף בכל שנה כמו שעושין הצבור מש"ה צריך לסיים ממש באותו היום שמסיימין בו הצבור דאע"פ שלא קרא כל השנה עמהן אחר גמר מצות אזלינן בכוליה דוכתא. וכן משמע מלשון הרמב"ן /הרמב"ם/ דטעמא הכי הוא דכתב וז"ל דאע"פ שכל אדם שומע כל התורה בכל שנה בצבור חייב לקרותו לעצמו כל שבוע ושבוע סדר של אותו שבת וכיון דטעמא דהשלמה הכי הוא נראה דלא אצריכו רבנן אלא שישלים פרשיות של כל התורה רק פעם אחד בשנה וא"כ לא צריכינן להשלים פרשיות של יו"ט ושל ארבע פרשיות ומוספין אחרים דהשלימו כל אחת בשבתו. אמנם נראים הדברים דלפי פירוש רבינו חננאל דפליג על רבינו שמחה כדאיתא בהגה"ה התם ולא מפרש ההיא דרב ביבי בר אביי בפרשיות דכולה שתא בהך סברא פליגי דלההיא גירסא ופי' אין טעם השלמה בשביל שיסיים התורה בכל שנה כדפרש"י אלא אפשר כדי שיהא רגיל במה שהצבור קורין וא"כ היה צריך להשלים פרשיות של יו"ט ומוספין לפי טעם זה ומ"מ אפי' אי הכי הוא מתיישב המנהג לדעת אינך גאונים וקרוב בעיני שלא נהגו רבותינו להשלים.

According to him, the purpose of being "Mashlim Parshiyosav Im Hatzibbur" is so each Jew will finish the entire written Torah each year. Rav Moshe Feinstein (OC 3:40) confirms this Pesak/logic (despite the other opinions that the purpose is to prepare for that week's Kerias Hatorah).

Based on this logic, someone who became Bar Mitzvah would need to "catch up" on the Parshiyos that they missed. This would answer the first question.

Presumably, the second question would depend on the same factors as other Mitzvos, such as counting Sefiras Haomer, linked to in the comments above.
From a Paskening point of view, there may be room to be more lenient based on a number of factors, including the level of "Chiyuv" to be Mashlim Parshiyosav, whether it is just about learning Torah, the other opinions that the purpose of this is to prepare for that week's Torah portion, etc. etc. However, I have not found a source that deals directly with this issue.

  • 1
    The Gemara seems to say there is no such thing as catching up. סבר לאקדומינהו אמר ליה ההוא סבא תנינא ובלבד שלא יקדים ושלא יאחר
    – Dov F
    Apr 5, 2018 at 11:14
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    'Based on this logic, someone who became Bar Mitzvah would need to "catch up"' Might be easier to argue that he doesn't need to bother at all till next Simchas Torah. Like Sefiras Haomer if a person missed a day.
    – MichoelR
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:02

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