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(This question could probably be made better if someone answers What time does a bar mitzvah come into effect?, but for now i'll just use the earlier or later time, as applicable.)

Let's say a boy's Hebrew birthday is tonight, and he's turning 13 (bar mitzvah). This afternoon, before shkia (the boy is definitely 12), the family (2 adult men plus the bar mitzvah boy) sits down to have a meal with bread. The meal goes on until after tzeit, and so the boy is definitely 13. Can he join in the zimun? What about lead it?

This question is obviously only according to those that do not l'chatchila include a 12-year-old for a zimun.

FWIW, when we potentially had this case, we just pushed off supper until after tzeit to avoid the problem.

  • Zimmun is rabbinic. The better question is, assuming you are doing Zimmun in the traditional way, can he fulfill others' obligations? – Double AA Sep 10 '15 at 13:54
  • FYI, Riv'vos Efrayim, vol. 4, no. 130, second-to-last paragraph, q.v., discusses this without ruling. – msh210 Sep 10 '15 at 23:15
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A similar question is when Rosh Chodesh is on Sunday, do we say "ya'aleh v'ya'vo" in bentching of Shalosh Seudos? There the answer (see Mishna Berura Siman 188 Sif Katan 33) is that it's a sofek (a doubt) and so we don't, unless you would eat at least a kazis of bread after tzeis when it's definitely night and then you would definitely say "ya'aleh v'ya'vo."

Would appear your question is the same issue and thus the same answer (although it may be different, but most likely not).

Thus if the boy eats a kazis of bread after tzeis, and also the other two men do, then he certainly could make a zimun. As long as they ate the end of the meal together, that is sufficient.

The Nitei Gavriel poskins according to the above reasoning.

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