Why the difference of 1 year between girls reaching obligation in mitzva observation versus boys? (a girl's Bat Mitzva = 12 years old, while boy's Bar Mitzva = 13 years old)

Is this due to girl's reaching intellectual maturity faster in this area or perhaps some other reason.

  • I think there's an answer to this on this site. Haven't had a chance to find it, b/c I'm heading out to one of these events. I also think that your 2nd paragraph is the reason, as well.
    – DanF
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:36
  • 1
    Physical maturity seems more likely
    – Double AA
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:38
  • @ray punishment is only at 20
    – Double AA
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:45
  • 1
    – Double AA
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:48
  • 2
    Possible duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8631 (cc @DanF)
    – msh210
    Jan 15, 2017 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


The Teshuvos Ha'Rosh (Klal 16-1) as well as other Rishonim point out that the age of Bar/Bas Mitzvah is a Halacha Li'Moshe Mi'Sinai and they imply that no ta'am was given. However since the concept of Bar/Base Mitzvah is intrinsically based on the concept of leaving the status of katnus (which is compared to being a shoiteh by Chazal) and entering the stage of pikchus (intellectual maturity) it would appear that in Hashem's eyes - at least with regards to understanding the concept of being responsible to do the will of Hashem and serve Him - girls do reach this stage of maturity earlier than boys.

  • 1
    do you have a source for that last statement?
    – ray
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:45
  • @ray. No. I just figured it would be a logical deduction based on the the way Chazal understand the status of a katan. No source though.
    – Mark A.
    Jan 16, 2017 at 4:10

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