Birthdays and Bar Mitzvahs

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

A. 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.

 

B. 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 one celebrates his birthday and Bar-Mitzvah on the 30th of Shevat. He is considered from that day and on like a complete Gadol.[5] Nevertheless it is proper to be stringent regarding fulfilling a Biblical obligation on behalf of others until the 1st of Nissan.[6]

 

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?[7]

Some have received a directive from the Rebbe to celebrate the birthday twice, in Adar I and Adar II.

 


[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] Machatziz Hashekel and Beir Heiytiv 55/11 in name of Shvus Yaakov which concludes that so is the ruling of all Baalei Horah; M”B 55/43; Peri Chadash; Eliyahu Raba; Levush 685; Mahri Mintz

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]

[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.

[5] Minchas Yitzchak 6/8; See M”B 568/42 in name of Magen Avraham 568/20 regarding a Yartzite

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvos 55/18

[7] Shulchan Menachem 3 p. 353

 

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