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Bar Mitzva Speech

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Bar Mitzva Speech

The Chassam Sofer remarked that the main simchas mitzva of a bar mitzva is the drasha (bar mitzva speech known as a pshetil) of the bar mitzva boy. He said about the bar mitzva that was arranged for his nephew (the son of his sister), R’ Shmuel Katz, who was orphaned from his mother: “Our simcha wasn’t sweet to us because the main simchas mitzva of a bar mitzva is the drasha of the bar mitzva boy…”[1]

There are those that are accustomed not to let the bar mitzva boy finish his speech by interrupting him with singing.[2] However there is a kavod hatorah when he completes his speech, especially when it is a suitable gifted bar mitzva boy.

The sefer Rosh Golas Ariel[3] reports that at the seudas bar mitzva of the Imrei Emes, the young boy delivered his pshetil of pilpul halacha (sharp halachic analysis). His father, the great Sefas Emes, instructed that the boy should not be interrupted. And so it was — the young Imrei Emes spoke until he completed his pshetil.

[1] Sefer Zikaron cited in Otzar Plaos Hatorah, Bar Mitzva U’tefillin, p. 11.

[2] There are those that oppose this custom. See the Shefa Chaim, 5:364, 3:212 and the Az Nidbiru 3:306.

[3] Volume 1, p. 39. This sefer speaks about the life of the Rebbe of Gur, the Imrei Emes.

Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Five Books including the recently released “Magnificent Marriage Insights: Captivating Torah Essays about Marriage”

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