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As appeared in Hamodia Simcha Supplement
Preparing Your Son for His Bar Mitzvah
By Beily Paluch
In our family, we joke that we should prepare all our boys for their bar mitzvahs at once. We should book the hall, print the invitations, and order the tefillin and tefillin bags. Unlike a wedding, where both the identity of the other side as well as the date are unknown until the engagement, a bar mitzvah falls predictably on a boy’s thirteenth birthday. So whatever age your son is, you can start getting ready!
For example, starting at birth, keep track of his age. Libby’s son Dovy’s bar mitzvah was approaching, and she sent out beautiful invitations. Then she met an acquaintance in the supermarket, and she shared the news of the upcoming simchah. “Your son is not turning thirteen, Libby, he’s turning twelve,” said the woman. “Don’t you remember we were together in Eim Vayeled? My Yossy’s birthday is also coming up, and he’s going to be twelve!”
Libby did the math, and realized the woman was right.
How did it happen? Libby’s precocious son was skipped a grade at a young age and, at some point, they forgot that he was younger than the rest of the class. When everyone signed up for bar mitzvah lessons, Dovy signed up as well. Libby also booked a hall at the same time as everyone else in the class, and from there it was a short route to “oops.”
But of course your son is really turning thirteen soon, so let’s get started!