Questions relating to children vis à vis their parents in Jewish law or Jewish thought. Also questions relating to parenting approaches and advice in Jewish thought.

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24
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4answers
4k views

Are children adopted by Jews Jewish?

I was adopted around the time I was three months old by my parents who are both Jewish. I do not know what religion my biological mother was, in fact I have very little detail about her at all. I was ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How does one explain God to little kids?

As I understand it, the ability to understand abstract concepts develops gradually in kids and is certainly not all there when they first start having conversations. This comes into play when kids ...
21
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2answers
2k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
16
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1answer
362 views

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents?

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents? I understand that a convert loses all halakhic relationship to his parents upon being "reborn." Therefore, does the mitzvah of kibud av va'eim still apply?
16
votes
1answer
537 views

Blessing the Children on Friday Night

I have noticed that many families (including my own) have the custom for the father to bless all the children on Friday night before kiddush. When and where did this custom originate, and by whom, ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a fathers obligation to teach his sons a parnassah extend to his daughters too?

A father has an obligation to teach his sons Torah, a parnassah and to swim. To what extent do these obligations extend to his daughters too? (edited to include my explanation from the comments) As ...
15
votes
6answers
472 views

Height of a mezuzah and children:

If a child cannot reach the upper third of the doorway and he is the primary occupant of said room, may the mezuzah be affixed lower than the upper third?
15
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3answers
272 views

The Mitzva of Peru U'Revu (Reproduction) - when does it start?

The first commandment in the Torah is Peru U'Revu, the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" (Bereshit 1:28). When does the obligation to fulfill this commandment begin? Does the Mitzva of Peru ...
13
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1answer
139 views

At what age should we start teaching the distinction between Midrash and Text?

At a very early age children learn the history of the world and the Jews through the enthralling stories found in many varied sources. They learn that the world was created in six days; that ...
13
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2answers
296 views

Why isn't Peru URvu one of the 7 Noahide Laws?

The commandment to "Be fruitful and multiply" was given to Adam HaRishon. Why, then, is this not included in the Sheva' Mitzvoth Bnei Noaḥ?
12
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5answers
381 views

How do you motivate a teen who has no interest in Davening?

Recently I met a 13-year-old who simply has no interest in Davening (praying). What would be a way of motivating such a kid to Daven?
12
votes
3answers
406 views

Are parents responsible if their children damage in a store?

If a parent brings a child (defined as under 13 for a boy and under 12 for a girl) into a store, and that child damages an item, is the parent responsible to pay? Would it matter if the child simply ...
12
votes
2answers
202 views

Promised to name son Shimon - now husband is Shimon!?

A woman who desperately wanted to get married traveled to Meron, the burial place of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, and vowed that if she found her match, she would name her first son Shimon in his merit. ...
11
votes
3answers
772 views

Infant seeing reflection in mirror

I have heard that some people do not allow a child to see his or her reflection in a mirror before they can speak (or say their name, possibly). Is there any traditional source for this practice?
11
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2answers
1k views

Giving gifts to non-Jews at Christmastime

Is it okay at Christmastime to give a gift to a boss or for kids to give gifts to teachers if they are not Jewish?
11
votes
3answers
302 views

Can a single-parent father be exempt from time-bound mitzvot?

Rabbis such as Abudraham have explained a woman's exemption from positive time-bound commandments (mitzvot shehazman grama) in terms of a woman's ongoing and preliminary role in supporting her ...
11
votes
1answer
187 views

How does Judaism regard homeschooling?

The title quite says it. I'm specifically more interested in unschooling.... It is said in Ktubot, 50:b, that: אמר רב יצחק באושא התקינו שיהא אדם מתגלגל עם בנו עד שתים עשרה שנה מכאן ואילך יורד ...
11
votes
1answer
252 views

Honor thy children?

What responsibility do parents have to their children vis a vis Kavod? General Kavod HaBerioth? Some level of relational Kavod like spouses have or like children have to their parents, only to a ...
11
votes
1answer
217 views

Does a child own what he's implicitly given by his parents?

I assume that when a parent owns an object and a child uses it, it remains the property of the parent's absent any intent/declaration on the parent's part to grant it to the child (and absent an act ...
10
votes
4answers
599 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
10
votes
1answer
312 views

Religiously sensitive guidance on when to tell your child about human reproduction

A boy in cheder who has no internet at home, no tv, etc, is not exposed to human reproduction in the way that others are. It's therefore up to the parents to explain to him how children are born. ...
10
votes
3answers
272 views

How do you explain tzniut to a little girl?

Some Jewish schools have attire guidelines starting in first grade. What is the best way to explain the concept of tzniut to a very young (say first grade) girl without explaining sexuality? Please ...
10
votes
3answers
532 views

Is an asexual person obligated in Pru Urvu?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by the lack of sexual attraction towards people in general. Asexuals may or may not be interested in romantic relationships, but are not physically ...
10
votes
3answers
380 views

Is it okay to enjoy Christmas lights?

My daughter is always talking about how she hates everything Christmas, including the lights on the houses. I am trying to encourage her that she can like non religious things like the lights, so ...
10
votes
1answer
90 views

Should one make a bracha on food if only a child is eating?

I think it is common to make a bracha (blessing) when giving a small child food so that they learn the common brachot and learn to say "amen". Is this appropriate to do if you are not eating the food ...
9
votes
1answer
20k views

How many children did King Solomon have?

King Solomon [1 Kings 11 (4)] “had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines;” How many children did he have? Three. The question is referred to at ...
9
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1answer
85 views

“There is a son born to Naomi”? But it's a grandson — what's up with that?

In chapter 4 of Rut, after Boaz performs yibum with Rut and she bears a son, it says: וַתִּקְרֶאנָה לוֹ הַשְּׁכֵנוֹת שֵׁם לֵאמֹר, יֻלַּד-בֵּן לְנָעֳמִי; וַתִּקְרֶאנָה שְׁמוֹ עוֹבֵד, הוּא ...
9
votes
2answers
144 views

Do the parents of a convert merit in the afterlife for their child's decision?

When my child was little, she wanted to know whether my parents, who are not Jewish, would go to Heaven. I explained to her that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. But ...
8
votes
5answers
272 views

Are there unforgiveable sins?

If parents have committed atrocious sins against their children such as incest, physical abuse, drugging, etc. is it considered an unforgiveable sin?
8
votes
2answers
174 views

Mitzvah for fathers to buy things for dating-age daughters?

I heard that men whose daughters are dating have a mitzvah to supply them with things that will help them, i.e. dresses, jewelry, etc. Is there a source for this?
8
votes
2answers
130 views

Extent of financial consideration before having children

Are there financial considerations that a couple must take before having a child or children i.e. should one have children 'at any cost' or is this not a consideration. If yes, would these financial ...
8
votes
2answers
562 views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
8
votes
1answer
256 views

Who should walk the Chosson and Kallah to the Chupa?

At the Chuppah in some weddings I've been to, the father and father-in-law escort the Chosson and the mother and mother-in-law escort the Kallah. In others, the mother and fathers each escort their ...
7
votes
3answers
567 views

Baby boy's MOTHER as the sandek(et)

I have recently come upon historical evidence of the mothers of baby boys serving as the sandek(et) during the brit milah. From page 18 of The Orthodox Jewish Woman and Ritual: Options and ...
7
votes
3answers
308 views

Must a couple get divorced if they have no children after 10 years?

I recall learning, but am unsure of the source, that a couple who has been married for 10 years but has no children either should get divorced. What is the source and reason for this? Is it an ...
7
votes
2answers
143 views

Most children in sefer B'reishit are named by women or God; why does Yehudah name Er?

I noticed in B'reishit 38 that Yehudah names his first son Er, but his wife bat Shua names the other two. Yaakov's wives name all of their children (except that Yaakov changes Ben-oni to Binyanim). ...
7
votes
4answers
277 views

Is Ferberization okay?

Is there anything objectionable (in terms of halacha, hashkafa and middos) to using the Ferber method for training an infant to fall asleep on its own? There is an element of cruelty, and the ultimate ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Where/when/how/why did flags become part of Simchas Torah celebrations?

Kids today all know that they have flags when dancing on Simchas Torah. How, when, where, and/or why did the flags originate? (Someone decided it was fun, and then it caught on?) What pictures were ...
7
votes
3answers
225 views

Can a grandparent name a child differently than the parents?

We all know that Moshe Rabeinu had 7 names and was called Moshe which was the name Basya gave him. Recently I was in a Shul and there was a fellow there that had a grandaughter the previous week. The ...
7
votes
1answer
284 views

Is there a source for not buying things for a baby before it is born?

Is there any source for the custom to not buy things for a baby before it is born? I have heard that the reason is due to averting ayin hara, but I would like to know if there is any recorded source ...
6
votes
4answers
720 views

Explaining to children why we don't celebrate Halloween

Without delving into the Pagan origins of Halloween (or even discussing it altogether - as it may not be allowed l'halocho), how would you encourage Jewish children who've celebrated Halloween in the ...
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Double portion for firstborn

I need to designate beneficiaries for a life insurance plan. I've designated my wife as the primary beneficiary and my children as contingent beneficiaries. My son is a firstborn and he has two ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a mother taste her own breastmilk?

Can a mother drink/taste her own breastmilk? I know theres an issur to for a non baby to drink directly from the breast- but what about from a cup? Further- if it is indeed assur even from a cup- ...
6
votes
3answers
252 views

Did anointed kings of Israel have contact with their parents?

This answer to another question makes me wonder: Did anointed kings of Israel have any contact with their parents? David was dead when Shlomo succeeded him, and Shlomo ruled until his own death. But ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

Why does Yisro tell Moshe that he came with Moshe's wife “and her sons” rather than “your sons”?

At Exodus 18:6, Moshe's father-in-law, Yisro, tells Moshe that he had come with Moshe's wife and "her sons." Why didn't he say to Moshe that she had come with "your sons"?
6
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3answers
336 views

Bringing little girls into the men's section in Shul

It has become the norm in mosts shuls I've been to, that fathers bring little girls into the men's section of synagogues on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Until what age should girls still be allowed to ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Do the Nine Measures Apply to the Woman?

Nedarim 20b discusses nine mannerisms which a man should avoid whilst being intimate with his wife. The Talmud says that practicing these nine mannerisms can lead to having obstinate, rebellious ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

If a father has to carry his sons aveiros why not his mitzvos?

If a father must carry the sins & punishments of his son (under bar mitzva) as we know he does from the brocha of "Baruch Shepatrani Meonshin shel zeh" does he — and if not, why doesn't he — ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

Name of adoptive father in the Ketubah

I know that an adoptive parents is considered as a real parent. But normally the adoptive parents raises the child from a very young age, in this case it is different. A Jewish father bring up his son ...
6
votes
2answers
325 views

Help with Tosfot “v'HaAmar R. Yochanan” on Brachot 5b

The Gmara on Brachot 5b quotes R. Yochanon: R. Yochanan says: Leprosy and children are not chastisements of love. The Gmara later questions this statement: But is children not a ...