Project Genesis

LifeCycle Events

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Second Bar Mitzvah

Question: Is there a source in the Torah for having a second Bar Mitzvah at age 83? If not, where did this custom originate?

Answer: I don’t know of any basis for this (recent) custom. I assume the reason is that in Psalms (90:10) it says, “The measure of our life is seventy years; and, if through strength, it may be eighty years, its pride is only trouble and sorrow, for it comes to an end and we are quickly gone.” Therefore if a person is supposed to live for 70 years, by 83 they have started again and reached Bar Mitzvah.

Obviously it is nice to celebrate every birthday and any milestone, but there is no religious significance behind this idea of a second Bar Mitzvah, nor is there a source for it in Jewish law.

I hope this answers your questions.

Rabbi David Sedley

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