Rabbi Braun: Halachos of Bas Mitzva Celebration




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    Rabbi Braun: Halachos of Bas Mitzva Celebration

    Halachic questions and answers on the celebration of a Bas Mitzva, by HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun • Halachos of Bas Mitzva Celebration • Attending a Bas Mitzva During Shloshim? • May girls under Bas Mitzva separate challah? And more • Full Article

    Halachic questions and answers on the celebration of a Bas Mitzva, by HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun shlita, Mara D’Asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.


    Celebrating a Bar Mitzva has a source in Torah, whereas celebrating a Bas Mitzva does not have an official Torah source. Though the concept of a girl becoming Bas Mitzva at the age of twelve is sourced in Torah, the idea of making a special Bas Mitzva celebration was introduced by foreign sources, people outside the parameters of traditional Yiddishkeit who attempted to emulate other religions and ensure that girls had the same celebration as boys.

    Although it is appropriate to celebrate a Bas Mitzva which is the time when a girl becomes mechuyav, obligated, in mitzvos, nevertheless it should not be done in a way similar to how it is celebrated in foreign circles by the mischadshim, those who invent new ideas which are not traditional Torah ideas.

    A Bas Mitzva celebration should be done in a modest way, such as part of a Mesibos Shabbos, a Melave Malka, or similar to a yom holedes celebration (a modest and spiritually meaningful birthday party). The parents should buy the girl a beautiful and meaningful present, and everything should be done in the most tzniyus, modest, manner. Most important is that the girl understands that at this stage of her life she is becoming obligated in the chiyuv of mitzvos, and takes on the responsibilities of being a Jewish woman with joy and gladness of heart. Halacha2Go #91*

    Can a Shul Be Used For a Bas Mitzva?

    Are you allowed to make a meal in a shul like by a farbrengen? What about renting a shul for a Bas Mitzva? It seems from the research I have done that food is only allowed in a shul for someone who is learning there all day?

    The accepted custom is that all occasions that are associated with a mitzva (including a farbrengen), or a common need of the community, can be celebrated/done in a shul. However, in regards to a Bas Mitzva, the poskim write that a shul is not the place for it, rather it should be done in a modest way at home or school. #10528*

    Attending a Bas Mitzva During Shloshim?

    I’m in the shloshim for the loss of my mother a”h. My granddaughter is having a Bas Mitzva which will include music, dancing, and photography. It seems that I am expected to attend in order to be in the family pictures and sit in a separate room for the duration of the party. When I said that I’m not going, I was told that for the sake of shalom I should ask for a “heter“. Is there a heter to attend this Bas Mitzva party?

    Yes, as the Bubby you may go to the Bas Mitzva, but you may not eat the meal there. You may taste/eat a little, and/or eat the meal in another room. You should not pay attention to the music. And certainly, not to join in any dancing. You should also help by serving food etc. to some of the guests. Someone should share a few words of Torah and/or inspiration with the assembled [as should be the case at any rate]. #13455*

    May girls under Bas Mitzva separate challah?

    On a previous occasion we discussed the halachic issues involved in challah-baking events, noting that challah may not be separated with a bracha if the dough is then divided into small portions to be taken home by the participants.

    A related question which is often asked concerns Bas Mitzva celebrations where the Bas Mitzva girl and her friends want to bake challah together. Assuming that the problem mentioned above doesn’t apply—either because the host family is keeping all of the challah, or for some other reason—may girls under Bas Mitzva separate challah?

    The halacha is that children during the year preceding halachic maturity, i.e. before their Bar or Bas Mitzva, which for girls is eleven, are deemed a mufla ha’samuch l’ish (near maturity), and if they separate teruma it’s valid—provided that they are aware Who they’re separating teruma for. Likewise, challah separated by girls this age is also valid. However, l’chatchila (ideally), it should be done by girls who are already Bas Mitzva. #495

    Can a 12 Year Old Always Make Kiddush For Another Woman?

    A woman is obligated in the mitzva of Kiddush just like a man. However, if a Bar Mitzva boy wants to make Kiddush for his mother and it is uncertain whether he has already reached the halachic definition of maturity, otherwise known as shtei se’aros, he is not allowed to make Kiddush for his mother because he has a lesser obligation of Kiddush than his mother or his father do. If it is on Friday evening and the woman davened already, then it is a bit of a different situation, and there may be room for leniency. The same rule applies in a girls’ camp or a seminary. If a younger girl who is already Bas Mitzva but about whom it is uncertain if she possesses the signs of halachic maturity wants to make Kiddush for an older girl, it can be a serious problem, unless it is Friday evening and the older girl has already davened Maariv.Halacha2Go #72* 

    *References are available for this Halacha on the websites: www.Halacha2Go.com and www.AskTheRav.com

    Please note that these halachos apply in general situations, if you are unsure whether the halacha applies to your particular situation, please consult a Rav.


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