Bat Mitzvah


Why don’t fathers recite ברוך שפטרני at their daughter’s bat mitzvahs?
Is this a brachah just for the father or should a mother also be saying the bracha at her sons’ bar mitzvahs?
Do we assume all the sins of the son goes to the father (and not the mother) until age 13, and what do we assume about the sins of the daughters up to age 12?

Marked as spam
Asked on April 1, 2020 11:50 am
Private answer

Two main reasons are given for reciting this beracha (Magen Avraham 225). The first is because the father was obligated to teach his child Torah and therefore, when the child sins below the age of halachic culpability, the father is held responsible. The second is that the child bears punishment for the sins of the father.

Peri Megadim (Eshel Avraham 225:) writes that reciting this beracha for a daughter depends on which of the two reasons is dominant. If the obligation to educate is dominant, then we might say that a father does not recite it for his daughter since he is exempt from teaching her Torah and possibly from other aspects of mitzva education. If the other reason is dominant, the father should be held culpable for his daughter’s sins as well.

Rav Ovadya Yosef (Yabi’a Omer 6:29), however, points out that many halachic authorities maintain that a father is obligated to teach his daughter, and therefore he should recite the beracha when she reaches maturity according to both opinions.

In making this ruling, Rav Yosef points out that widespread custom is to recite this beracha for boys without mention of God’s name or Kingship (Rema 225), i.e., just saying “Baruch she-petarani me-onsho shel zeh,” without the words “ata Hashem Elokeinu melech ha-olam.” Given that it has not been widely practiced for fathers to recite it for daughters, he suggests being sure to recite it in that case without God’s name or kingship.

Regarding a mother reciting the beracha, one could argue that a mother’s obligations in education and even the results of her sins differ from a father’s (Shut Divrei Yetziv OC 93). Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe OC 5:14), however, writes that fundamentally a mother should be obligated to recite it. Our sages were stringent, however, that she not say it since it is ideally said in front of a minyan when her son gets an aliya as part of the Torah service, in which women do not participate.

It would seem that a mother could recite it for a son or daughter without mentioning God’s name or kingship, as is the practice of many fathers.

See more Q&A here.

Marked as spam
Answered on April 6, 2020 7:01 am