[b-hebrew] Genesis 41: 1: "Two Years of Days"

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Jul 15 17:42:41 EDT 2009

James Christian:
You seem not to know what a Bar Mitzvah is.  Here are a few quotes about 
Bar Mitzvah from the Judaism 101 website:
“Technically, the term refers to the child who is coming of age…  At the 
age of 13 (12 for girls), children become obligated to observe the 
commandments. The bar mitzvah ceremony formally marks the assumption of that 
obligation, along with the corresponding right to take part in leading religious 
services, to count in a minyan (the minimum number of people needed to perform 
certain parts of religious services), to form binding contracts, to testify 
before religious courts and to marry. … Is 13 an Adult?  Many people mock the 
idea that a 12 or 13 year old child is an adult, claiming that it is an 
outdated notion based on the needs of an agricultural society. This criticism 
comes from a misunderstanding of the significance of becoming a bar mitzvah. …
 Bar mitzvah is simply the age when a person is held responsible for his 
actions and minimally qualified to marry.”  
_http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm_ (http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm) 
The medieval concept of a Bar Mitzvah was based on the notion that at age 
13, a male was an adult, who could take on adult responsibilities regarding 
religious observances.  If anything, males in the ancient world may well have 
been considered adults at an earlier age.
The fact that a male was an adult in the ancient world at age 13 years does 
not mean that a 13-year-old male should view that as the ideal time to 
marry and start earning his own livelihood.  The above website notes that the 
Talmud sees older ages as being the ideal ages for marrying, and for earning a 
livelihood.  But the Talmud recognizes that age 13 is the proper age for 
fulfillment of the Commandments.  That’s because a male entered into adulthood 
at age 13 in the ancient world, and was no longer a “boy”, no longer being 
a child.
It is inconceivable that if Joseph were age 17 “years”, in 12-month years, 
that the narrator at Genesis 37: 2 would refer to beloved, important Joseph 
as being a nar/N(R/“boy”.  A male age 17 years in 12-month years was an 
adult in the ancient world.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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