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1264 – Chinuch Katanim – (Klal 66 Siman 1) – Calculating Bar Mitzvah 3 – Calendrical Changes 1; Introduction

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1264 - Chinuch Katanim - (Klal 66 Siman 1) - Calculating Bar Mitzvah 3 - Calendrical Changes 1; Introduction
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 We are continuing in siman 1, regarding a parent’s chiyuv of chinuch vis a vis their child. We last learned that the Chayei Adam writes that if a child will not listen through words, one may hit them. However, The Chayei Adam clarifies that one should not hit their child to cause pain, as that would be cruel and unintelligent. 

It is important to realize that a parent does not want to convey a negative message to a child which may cause them to rebel when they get older, as that would accomplish the opposite of chinuch. Rather, a parent must find a way to convey a clarity of the importance of doing mitzvos properly in a way that the child understands the seriousness of the issue, and wants to refrain from them on their own accord. 

The Chayei Adam moves into the halachos of calculating the age of bar mitzvah. Although he discusses bar mitzvah, the calculations apply equally to a girl for calculating the age of bas mitzvah.

The Chayei Adam writes that the age of bar mitzvah is when a child reaches 13 full years. For example, if a child is born on the first of Nissan (even late in the day, it is considered as a whole day), they become a bar mitzvah on the first of Nissan 13 years later, because the last day of Adar completes 13 full years of life. 

Although there is an opinion that the 13 years must be m’eis l’eis, to the exact time at which the child was born (e.g., 5pm to 5pm 13 years later), we do not pasken accordingly.

 The Chayei Adam discusses exceptions in the Jewish calendar. The Chayei Adam begins with the issue of leap years. Whatever month a child was born in, the child will go through 13 twelve-month cycles a few months before their 13th birthday, due to the leap years in between their birth and bar mitzvah. Nevertheless, we pasken that the child does not need 13 twelve-month cycles, but rather 13 full years; thus, they must return to their date of birth 13 years later to become bar mitzvah.

 If a child is born in either month of Adar in a leap year, if the year of their bar mitzvah is not a leap year, they follow the date upon which they were born in the Adar of their bar mitzvah year.

If a child was born in a leap year, and the year of their bar mitzvah is a leap year, they follow the same date upon which they were born in the respective Adar of their bar mitzvah.

Be’ezras Hashem, we will discuss more scenarios tomorrow. 

Summary

  • The purpose of chinuch is to train the child to do the mitzvah properly as an adult. Thus, if training them in a specific mitzvah as a child will be counterproductive, one should not train them in that mitzvah until they are ready.
  • A child reaches bar or bas mitzvah when they have completed 13 years of life, from date to date. Thus, if they were born on the first of Nissan, they become bar mitzvah at the beginning of the first of Nissan 13 years later.
  • If a child is born in either Adar of a leap year, and their bar mitzvah is not in a leap year, they follow the date upon which they were born in the Adar of their bar mitzvah year.
  • If a child was born in a leap year, and the year of their bar mitzvah is a leap year, they follow the same date upon which they were born in the respective Adar of their bar mitzvah.

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