I once heard there is an opinion in Rishonim (maybe Gaonim?) that says we count ones years of life according to the solar calender. So for example a boy would become bar mitzvah when he would turn 13 years old according to the solar years. Where is this opinion brought if at all?

  • Perhaps they simply meant to say that a person's age (or time itself, for that matter) is obviously reckoned according to the succession of seasons, which is indeed what the so-called solar or tropical year approximates, and that purely-lunar years (of exactly twelve months, with no leap months whatsoever) would slowly but surely drift out of season. But I find it hard to believe that they had a purely-solar calendar in mind, as opposed to a lunisolar one; such a conclusion seems simply farfetched.
    – user18041
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


R' Gil Student cites the Ibn Ezra

“[T]he beginning of each individual’s year is from the moment he was born, and when the sun returns to the same point at which it was earlier, the person completes one full year” (['Iggeret HaShabbat, chapter 1]p. 21).

Nevertheless, insofar as there are halachic implications, R' Student understood the Bar Mitzvah to follow the Hebrew Calandar (as is the custom and I do not believe there is sufficient reason to assume Ibn Ezra's general words should be understood to the implying otherwise).

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