Birthdays and Yartzite during leapyear

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

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In which Adar is one to celebrate a birthday or Bar-Mitzvah?[1]

If one was born in Adar of a leap year:

If the current year contains one Adar:[2] If one was born in Adar of a leap year and the current year only contains one Adar then he celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on that same date in the current Adar. This applies whether he was born on Adar I or Adar II. Thus if Reuvein was born on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon on the 1st of Adar II then in the current year with a single Adar Reuvein celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the 29th of Adar and Shimon on the 1st of Adar. [Hence although Reuvein is older than Shimon he nevertheless celebrates his Bar-Mitzvah later than Shimon, if his 13th year is not a leap year.]

If the current year is also a leap year:[3] If one was born during Adar of a leap year and the current year is also a leap year, then he celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the day of the Adar that he was born in. Thus if Reuvein was born on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon on the 1st of Adar II then in the current leap year Reuvein celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon on the 1st of Adar II.

If one was born in Adar of a non-leap year and now it is a leap year:[4]

If one was born during Adar of a regular year and the current year is a leap year then he celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the date of his birth in Adar II. Thus if Reuvein was born on the 12th of Adar of a non-leap year than in a leap year Reuvein celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the 12th of Adar II.

 

Summary:

Current year is not a leap year: Everyone who was born in Adar, whether of a leap year or not, celebrates his birthday in Adar on the corresponding date.

Current year is a leap year: All Birthdays and Bar-Mitzvahs are celebrated in the second Adar unless one was born in Adar I.

Q&A

What is one to do if he was born on the 30th of Adar I and in the current year there is only one Adar of 29 days?

If one was born on the 30th of Adar of a leap year and the current year is a non-leap year, which hence only contains 29 days in Adar, then some Poskim[5] rule one celebrates his [birthday and] Bar-Mitzvah on the 30th of Shevat. He is considered from that day and on like a complete Gadol. Other Poskim[6] however rule he is to celebrate on the first of Nissan. Other opinions[7] have also been mentioned. Practically, he is to celebrate on the 30th of Shevat, although it is proper to be stringent regarding fulfilling a Biblical obligation on behalf of others until the 1st of Nissan.[8] Regarding the birthday celebration perhaps it is proper to celebrate the birthday customs on both dates, the 30th of Shevat and on the 1st of Nissan.[9]

If one was born in Adar of a non-leap year and now it is a leap year in which Adar is one to follow the birthday customs?[10]

Some have received a directive from the Rebbe to celebrate the birthday twice, in Adar I and Adar II. Rebbetzin Chayah Mushka was born on the 25th of Adar and it is recounted that in a leap year the Rebbe would visit the Ohel on this date in both months. Likewise, the Rebbe would recite both chapters of Psalms [the new and old] until the 25th of Adar 2. The Rebbe Rayatz wrote two letters to the Rebebtzin in honor of her biorthday in both Adar Rishon and Sheiyni.[11]  

When is the Upsherinish to be celebrated for a child that was born in Adar?[12]

This follows the same law as a Bar Mitzvah, and hence if the child was born in a elap year, he is to celebrate his upsherinish in whichever month of Adar that he was born. If however he was born in non-leap year, he is to celebrate his Upsherinish in the second Adar. [The above is with regards to cutting the hair. Certainly however, the child may begin to wear Tzitzis and a Yarmulka prior to this date, from the fiurst Adar and even beforehand.] 

 

Yartzite

In which Adar is one to commemorate a Yartzite?

If the person passed away in Adar of a leap year:[13]

If the current year contains one Adar: If a person passed away during Adar of a leap year and the current year contains one Adar then the commemoration of his Yartzite is on that same date in the current Adar. This applies whether the person passed away on Adar I or Adar II. Thus if Reuvein passed away on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon passed away on the 1st of Adar II, then in the current year with a single Adar, Reuven’s Yartzite is commemorated on the 29th of Adar and Shimon’s Yartzite is commemorated on the 1st of Adar. [Hence although Reuvein passed away prior to Shimon he nevertheless has his Yartzite commemorated later than Shimon, if the current year is not a leap year.]

If the current year is also a leap year:[14] If a person passed away during Adar of a leap year and the current year is also a leap year, then the commemoration of his Yartzite is on the day of the Adar that he passed away in. Thus if Reuvein passed away on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon passed away on the 1st of Adar II then in the current leap year Reuven’s Yartzite is commemorated on the 29th of Adar I and Shimon’s Yartzite is commemorated on the 1st of Adar II.

A person passed away on the 30th of Adar I and in the current year there is only one Adar of 29 days:[15] If the person passed away on the 30th of Adar I of a leap year and the current year is a non-leap year, which hence only contains 29 days in Adar, then the commemoration of his Yartzite is on the 30th of Shevat.[16]

If the person passed away in Adar of a non-leap year and now it is a leap year:[17]

Some Poskim[18] rule one is to commemorate the Yartzite in the second Adar [and so is the Sefaradi custom[19]]. Others[20] rule one is to commemorate the Yartzite in the first Adar and so is the [Ashkenazi[21]] custom. Some are stringent to commemorate the Yartzite in both the first and second Adar.[22]

The first year:[1] The above debate is only regarding the date of the Yahrzeit from the second year and onwards. However, if the first Yahrzeit falls in a leap year, then according to all [Sefaradim and Ashkenazim] one is to commemorate the Yahrzeit on the first Adar, when the 12 months have concluded, and not in Adar Sheiyni.

[1] Beis Yosef Y.D. 403 in name of Tashbeitz; Rav Poalim 4:41; Chasam Sofer O.C. 14; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

 

Summary:

If the person passed away in Adar of a non-leap year and now it is a leap year: One commemorates the Yartzite in the first Adar although some are stringent to commemorate also in the second Adar.

If the person passed away in Adar of a leap year and the current year contains one Adar: The commemoration of his Yartzite is on that same date in the current Adar.

If the person passed away in Adar of a leap year and the current year is also a leap year: The commemoration of his Yartzite is on the day of the Adar that he passed away in.

Q&A

When is one to commemorate a Yartzite of a relative who passed away on the 30th of Adar I and in the current year there is only one Adar of 29 days?

If a person passed away on the 30th of Adar of a leap year and the current year is a non-leap year, which hence only contains 29 days in Adar, then some Poskim[23] rule one commemorates the Yartzite on the 30th of Shevat. Other Poskim[24] however rule he is to commemorate it on the first of Nissan. Other opinions[25] have also been mentioned. Practically, one is to commemorate the Yartzite on the 30th of Shevat, and if he desires to be stringent, also on the 1st of Nissan.[26]

 

 

Annual commemoration of miracle:[27]

One who annually commemorates a miracle that occurred to him in the month of Adar is to commemorate the miracle in Adar I, if the miracle occurred in a year with one Adar, or in the 1st Adar of a leap year. If it occurred on the second Adar of a leap year then one commemorates it in Adar II of a leap year. The meal that takes place in commemoration of the event is considered a Seudas Mitzvah.[28]

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[1] See Igros Kodesh 24:295; Yerushalmi Megillah 1:5 that discusses which month is considered the Chodesh Haiibur.

[2] Michaber 55:10

Why was this law omitted from the Shulchan Aruch Harav Chapter 55? Tzaruch Iyun Gadol regarding why this Halacha was omitted from Admur chapter 55, despite him bringing another Halacha from that same Magen Avraham [55:10]. [Igros Kodesh 24:295; 28:129; Hisvasyus ibid] Perhaps Admur wanted to bring it in his section on the laws of Purim, however it is very difficult to accept such an answer. [Likkutei Sichos 15 p. 603] Alternatively Admur wanted to bring it in the Mahadura Basra [Hisvadyus 1986 2:538] Alternatively in the original manuscript this Halacha was found in full and was mistakenly omitted by the editors. [So suggests Kuntrus Hashulchan p. 20 as a certainty.]

[3] Shvus Yaakov 1:9; Peri Chadash; Eliyahu Raba; Levush 685; Yeshuos Yaakov 55:6; Mahri Mintz; Machatziz Hashekel and Beir Heiytiv 55:11 in name of Shvus Yaakov ibid which concludes that so is the ruling of all Baalei Horah; Chasam Sofer 14 [however see Chasam Sofer 163]; Derech Hachaim Kaddish 3; Chayeh Adam 66:1; Kitzur SHU”A 15:2; Chasan Sofer 99; Aruch Hashulchan 55:14; M”B 55:43

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that by a leap year one always celebrates on Adar II even if he was born in Adar I. [Magen Avraham 55:10; Olas Tamid 55:5; Shulchan Shlomo 55:5]

[4] Rama 55:10; See Igros Kodesh 24:295; Shulchan Menachem 3:307 for a discussion on why the Yerushalmi Megillah 1:5 does not mention whether a Bar Mitzvah is in Adar Rishon or Sheiyni.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to celebrate his birthday and Bar Mitzvah in Adar Rishon. [Mahrash Levi 16] Some Poskim rule that one is to be stringnet like this opinion, for the Bar Mitzvah boy to begin wearing Tefillin in Adar Rishon. [Beis Shlomo Even Haezer 56] Practically, this is not the custom, and rather all customs are followed only from the second of Adar . [Shulchan Melachim ibid] Regaridng Tefillin however, the Chabad custom is to begin wearing them two months before the Bar Mitzvah.

[5] Minchas Yitzchak 6:8; Binyan Tziyon 141; Mishpatecha Leyaakov 13; So also rules regarding a Yartzite: M”B 568:42 in name of Magen Avraham 568:20, following the Girsa of the Machatzis Hashekel and Yad Efraim in M”A ibid, however see P”M ibid for a different Girsa

[6] Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:159 regaridng a yartzite; See Nitei Gavriel 12:4 footnote 7 for the different opinions on this matter; So rules regarding one who was born on the 30th of Cheshvan or Kisleiv that he does not become Bar Mitzvah until the 1st of Kisleiv:Teves: Admur 55:13; M”A 55:10; Elya Raba 55:9; Yad Ahron; M”B 55:45; Ketzos Hashulchan 15:6; Derech Hachaim; Kneses Hagedola; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 55:60; and so rules regarding one who was born on the 1st of Kisleiv and the next year there are two days Rosh Chodesh Kisleiv, that he celebrates only on the 1st day of Kisleiv: Shaareiy Teshuvah 55:5 in name of Elya Raba

[7] See Nitei Gavriel ibid that some say one is to celebrate on the 1st of Adar

[8] Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:18; Nitei Gavriel ibid; Heard from Harav Yekusiel Frakash

[9] So answered the Rebbe in a similar scenario of one who was born on the 30th of Cheshvan, that he should celebrate twice on the 29th and the 1st. [Heichal Menachem 2:38-9]

[10] Shulchan Menachem 3 p. 353

[11] See Igros Kodesh Rebbe Rayatz volume 15

[12] Nitei Gavriel 1:8

[13] Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221:3

[14] Rama Y.D. 402:12 regaridng Adar Beis; Shach 402:12 regaridng both Adar Alef and Beis; Rashal

[15] M”B 568:42 in name of Magen Avraham 568:20

[16] The reason: As this is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, just like the original year.

[17] 568:7

[18] Michaber ibid

[19] Kaf Hachaim 568:76

[20] Rama O.C. ibid; Rama Y.D. 402:12 “Even though some opinions argue, so is the main opinion”; Terumas Hadeshen 294; Mahariy Mintz

[21] Rama ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid

[22] Rama O.C. ibid [omitted in rama Y.D.]; Shach 402:11; Rashal; Bach; M”A 568:20 rules that from the letter of the law one is to commemorate the Yartzite on both days. [brought in M”B 568:42] Some write that the widespread custom amongst Anash to commemorate the Yartzite in both months. [Hiskashrus]

[23] M”B 568:42 in name of Magen Avraham 568:20, following the Girsa of the Machatzis Hashekel and Yad Efraim in M”A ibid, however see P”M ibid and Levushei Serud for a different Girsa

[24] Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:159 based on P”M ibid and Levushei Serud for a different Girsa in M”A ibid; So rules regarding one who was born on the 30th of Cheshvan or Kisleiv that he does not become Bar Mitzvah until the 1st of Kisleiv:Teves: Admur 55:13; M”A 55:10; Elya Raba 55:9; Yad Ahron; M”B 55:45; Ketzos Hashulchan 15:6; Derech Hachaim; Kneses Hagedola; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 55:60; and so rules regarding one who was born on the 1st of Kisleiv and the next year there are two days Rosh Chodesh Kisleiv, that he celebrates only on the 1st day of Kisleiv: Shaareiy Teshuvah 55:5 in name of Elya Raba

[25] See Nitei Gavriel ibid that some say one is to celebrate on the 1st of Adar; One noted Chabad Rav mentioned to me that in his opinion one is to celebrate on the 1st of Shevat.

[26] Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:18; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[27] M”B 697:2

[28] The reason: As every meal which takes place to commemorate G-d’s miracles and wonders has a status of a Mitzvah feast. [ibid; Chavos Yair 70; P”M 444 M”Z 9; Chayeh Adam 154:42 in name of Rashal Baba Kama 37;] This is unlike the ruling of the Peri Chadash 496.

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