Braitah in Kiddushin 29a:

תנינא להא דת"ר האב חייב בבנו: למולו ולפדותו וללמדו תורה ולהשיאו אשה וללמדו אומנות וי"א אף להשיטו במים...:

... the Sages taught in a Baraita: A father is obligated with regard to his son to circumcise him, and to redeem him if he is a firstborn son who must be redeemed by payment to a priest, and to teach him Torah, and to marry him to a woman, and to teach him a trade.

To continue what-things-are-done-differently-for-an-adult-circumcision and missing-fathers-obligations-on-sonsquestions, if one's father didn't do a Bar Mitzvah for his son, is the latter obligated to do that for himself?

That would include Torah reading, the Seudah and more. Oh, also getting presents, I assume.


1 Answer 1


R. Moshe Feinstein wrote the following in a responsum:

Igrot Moshe O.C. 1:104

ואי איישר חילי הייתי מבטל במדינתנו גם סדר הבר מצוה של הבנים שכידוע לא הביא זה שום איש לקרבו לתורה ולמצות ואף לא את הבר מצוה אף לא לשעה אחת ואדרבה בהרבה מקומות מביא זה לחלול שבת ועוד איסורים

And if I had the strength I would cancel in our country even the Bar Mitzvah for sons, which as is known has never brought any man to come closer to Torah and to mitzvot, nor even the Bar Mitzvah [boy himself], even for one moment. Just the opposite! In many places it leads to Sabbath violation and other prohibitions.

So, is the son obligated to have a Bar Mitzvah if the father never made one for him? It would seem that R. Feinstein would say that not only is he not obligated, it should probably be discouraged.


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