Halacha for Tuesday 28 Adar 5779 March 5 2019

“Baruch She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh”

Question: Is it correct that on the day of one’s son’s Bar Mitzvah, one should recite the blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh” (“Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, King of the universe, Who has exempted me from the punishment of this one”)? Does the same apply when one’s daughter reaches Bat Mitzvah age?

Answer: The Midrash Rabba (Parashat Toldot) states: “One must tend to one’s child for thirteen years. From then on, one must recite ‘Baruch She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh.’” The student of the Maharam writes likewise in his Sefer Tashbetz. Similarly, the Sefer Maharil states: “Maharil (acronym for Rabbeinu Yaakov Molin, the great halachic authority on whom most Ashkenazi customs are based; his opinions are frequently quoted by the Rama) recited the blessing ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh’ when his son reached Bar Mitzvah age and read from the Torah.” This blessing, including the recitation of Hashem’s name as is the case with any other blessing, is quoted by many great Poskim.

However, the Rama in his work, Darkei Moshe (Chapter 225), quotes the aforementioned Maharil and Midrash Rabba and writes, “However, I have not found this blessing mentioned in the Gemara and it is difficult for me to see people reciting a blessing that is not mentioned in the Gemara.” This means that since this blessing of “Baruch She’Petarani” is not mentioned in the Gemara, we may certainly not recite this blessing with Hashem’s name, although it is mentioned in the Midrash and in the words of many Poskim. Similarly, the Rosh (Chapter 8, Bechorot) writes that we do not recite blessings that are not mentioned in the Mishnah or Gemara, for after Ravina and Rav Asheh compiled the Talmud, no other blessings were instituted. (This ruling has many halachic ramifications.)

The Rama therefore rules in his notation that although this blessing should be recited on the day of one’s son’s Bar Mitzvah in accordance with the opinion of the Maharil, nevertheless, one should recite it without Hashem’s name, i.e. “Baruch She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh.” The meaning of this blessing is that thus far, the father was punished sternly for his son’s actions, for a father is responsible for his son’s actions and to educate him in the path of Torah. From now on, the son is responsible for his own actions since he has already grown up and become a full-fledged Jewish man; the father no longer shoulders as much responsibility as before. Others explain just the opposite: Until the son grows up, he may be punished for his father’s sins, for sometimes young children are held accountable for their parents’ sins. However, once he has grown up, he is held accountable only for his own actions (see Halichot Olam Volume 2, page 200, where Maran zt”l discusses this matter at length).

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that clearly, the same applies to the day one’s daughter reaches the Bat Mitzvah age of twelve and one should recite (without Hashem’s name): “Baruch She’Petarani Me’Onsha Shel Zo.”

Summary: On the day one’s son or daughter becomes Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the father should recite the following blessing, without Hashem’s name: “Baruch She’Petarani Me’Onsho Shel Zeh.” (The Ben Ish Hai adds that one should preferably think Hashem’s name, i.e. “Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam,” in one’s mind, but not actually recite it.)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Sunday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the househ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers, and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah? Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays a......

Read Halacha

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat? Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephar......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Married Children Staying with Their Parents and One Staying in a Hotel

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one&rsqu......

Read Halacha

“Al Ha’Nissim”

Starting from the Arvit prayer on the first night of Chanukah (this year, 5782, starting from tonight, Sunday night) “Al Ha’Nissim” is added in the Amida in the middle of the Blessing of Thanksgiving (“Modim Anachnu Lach etc.) as it is printed in all Siddurim. Even if mos......

Read Halacha

Hallel on Chanukah as it Pertains to Women

Question: Since women are obligated to light Chanukah candles, does this mean that they are likewise obligated to recite the Hallel every morning of Chanukah as well? Answer: Women are exempt from all positive, time-bound Mitzvot, such as eating in the Sukkah, taking the Lulav, and hearing the Sh......

Read Halacha

Havdala Without Besamim and a Candle

Question: One Motza’ei Shabbat when we were on vacation in the summer, we were not able to procure Besamim (a fragrant object) and a candle. Is it permissible to recite the order of Havdala without Besamim and a candle? Answer: This law is discussed by the Gemara (Berachot 53a): “Rav ......

Read Halacha