Questions relating to children under the age of 13 (for boys) or 12 (for girls). Children of this age are minors with respect to various rules, including the obligation to fulfill mitzvos (God's commands).

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1
vote
2answers
115 views

Fasting for a child bechor before Passover

I've heard that some men fast on erev Pesach for their firstborn son until that son old enough to fast for himself. Is that halakha? Where does this come from?
3
votes
1answer
135 views

What are the parameters of Kiddush ha-shem?

Kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of the name of God, is often associated with choosing death rather than violating a core tenet of Judaism (this is known as dying "al kiddush Hashem"). However, more ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views
1
vote
1answer
104 views

A child that commits suicide (R"L) — losing certain merits

A person who kills himself (R"L) as far as I know loses certain zechuyos (merits) in terms of their kavurah (burial) and other dinim (rules. See here for more). Is the same true if it was a katan ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Can one stand a child in an aron kodesh in order for the child to kiss the sifrei torah?

Can you place (stand) a 2 year old child on a shelf in an Aron Kodesh which is on the same level as the Sifrei Torah in order for the child to look at and kiss the Sifrei Torah?
5
votes
4answers
394 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Shaving vs. Hair cutting on Chol Hamoed

In the Shulchan Aruch, 531:2, the text reads אין מגלחין במועד and then continues to have a discussion about whether one can be מגלח, a word I learned to be "shave." It also later (in s"k 5) it reads ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

May a child make a Berachah on a Pasul set of 4 species?

May a child make a Berachah on a Pasul set of 4 species that their parents gave them to learn how to make the Berachah and do the Mitzvah?
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Hataras Nedarim for 12 yr old boy

When a boy reaches 12 years old, his nedarim (vows) are considered to be binding. However, I don't believe I've ever seen a 12 year old boy make Hataras Nedarim on Erev Rosh HaShanah. Is there a ...
13
votes
6answers
459 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?
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Should one say amen to an unnecessary bracha made by a child on the autism spectrum?

If a very verbal (often too verbal) 12 year old child on the autism spectrum has trouble speaking appropriately and particularly likes to say a bracha when he wants to and not necessarily when it's ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...
6
votes
0answers
114 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
8
votes
3answers
284 views
14
votes
3answers
243 views

May a Katan (minor) perform Melachah (“work”) on Shabbath?

In my experience, I've noticed that many people take for granted that if one needs a Melachah to be performed on Shabbath, one may have a minor, especially one under the age of 3, perform what is ...
7
votes
2answers
468 views

Is there a good children's parsha book that's focused on pshat, not midrash?

Is there a good children's parsha book that's focused on pshat, not midrash? Something like a Little Midrash Says, but based on just the psukim (simple verses), not all the medrish?
6
votes
1answer
101 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 — ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Sha'atnez and small children

I was sent an email today alerting my community that Sha'atnez has been discovered in a line of baby pants. A quick internet search turned up other baby clothing that has been discovered to have ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Can a 9 year old do Yibbum?

Back then was a 9 year old and 1 day boy allowed to do yebam to his dead brothers wife?
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Kids listening to music in sefira: what age

At which age should children be trained not to listen to music during sefira.
1
vote
2answers
102 views

May one allow children to play in water on minor fasts?

May one allow children to play in water on minor fasts? Are the rules the same (depending whom you follow) as for an adult?
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Midrash on children and the letter shapes?

I've heard about a midrash that discusses a day when little children took over the study hall and, by interpreting the shapes of the Hebrew letters, articulated many of Judaism's most powerful ...
10
votes
2answers
269 views

Is this site for Children?

A father asked me if this site is appropriate for children considering the fact that oftentimes incorrect answers are being posted. Children are very impressionable and as Chazal tell us, Shabeshtah, ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Converting a baby - When to do Circumcision

I know that one can convert an infant (and if he doesn't recant when he becomes of age, the conversion is retractively chal) but what about milah? For a Jewish child, milah before the 8th day isn't a ...
8
votes
1answer
111 views

Does the Levi who washes the hands of the Kohanim have to be over bar mitzvah?

The Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people. If a Levi is not available a first born (to the mother) can wash (according to the Askenazi custom) instead, Orach Chaim ...
7
votes
5answers
542 views

malacha from child

is one allowed to ask a child to do a malacha of shabbos? does your answer also apply to a non-Jew?
6
votes
3answers
213 views

How do you vet a day school?

How do you go about investigating whether a particular day school is best for your kids? I am most interested in the behavior and attitude of the students and the professionalism of the teachers and ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

an adult's responding to a child's sneeze with a blessing, or vice versa

The halacha states (Mishnah Brurah 230: 7) that one should respond to a sneeze with a blessing and the person who sneezed and was blessed should return with a blessing in kind. this is not done if you ...
5
votes
3answers
202 views

Giving milk and meat to a baby

We have a one-year-old, BH. Is it OK to give him milk and then meat and vice versa without waiting in between?
4
votes
0answers
122 views

Young boys returning Chumashim after Torah reading

I often see young boys going around shul after the Shabbos/Yom Tov morning Torah reading to collect Chumashim and return them to their shelves. Is this an actual 'minhag' with a history behind it? If ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Source in Tosafos for playing ball on Yom Tov

I know there is a Tosafos in Beitza 12a that discusses playing ball on Yom Tov, but I remember learning another Tosafos which said something like "for children under nine it would be permitted on ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Minor tying tzitzis

Some poskim say that a minor may tie tzitzis even for an adult (see Artzos HaChayim cited by Mishnah Berurah 14:4), as long as he is being supervised by an adult (gadol omed al gabav). Does this mean ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Why are children given money on Purim?

There seems to be a minhag (or at least what appears to be a minhag) that children who deliver mishloach manos are given a small sum of money by the recepient. Is this an actual minhag? And if so, ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Godparents in Judaism

Does Judaism have any tradition resembling the Christian practice of assigning godparents? Godparents are a man and a woman entrusted by the birth parents to take care of their child spiritually and ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

chinuch and tzitzis

At what age do boys need to be educated to wear tzitzis? How careful do the parents need to be in ascertaining that they remain kosher at all times?
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
198 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
4
votes
1answer
488 views

Is playing board games on Shabbat prohibited?

I have heard different opinions on playing games on Shabbat. Are games using money (ie Monopoly) mukza? What about games without money. (obviously games with writing necessary are muksa and need not ...
7
votes
2answers
170 views

Kid with Expensive Muktzeh Item in his Hand on Shabbos

If I have a little child with an Ipod (which is muktzeh) in its hand can I grab the hand and shake it out of its hand into a safe place to prevent the child from breaking it?
6
votes
1answer
54 views

Why can't a minor's rights to eat while harvesting crops be waived?

The Torah grants workers who are harvesting a field to consume some of it while on the job. The Mishna in Bava Metzia (7:6) points out that a worker can waive his Biblically-granted rights, and make ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing Anim Zemiros?

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing the Shir Hakavod (or Anim Zemiros)? Why is it not like any other part of davenning where we use someone over barmitzvah?
12
votes
3answers
399 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
272 views

Why does there seem to be different standards for future sinners?

In Bereshit (21:17) Rashi tells us that the Angels wanted G-d to kill Yishmael, but G-d said that He wouldn't judge him according to his future deeds, but rather according to his present state: In ...
8
votes
1answer
818 views

Blowing bubbles on Shabbos

Is there any halachik problem with blowing bubbles on Shabbos? If so what melacha categories does it fall under? Does the age of the blower matter?
5
votes
1answer
176 views

tying tzitzis together on Simchas Tora

When I was a child in the 1980s, something the boys in my synagogue did on Simchas Tora was tie one person's talis to another, or sometimes to furniture. (Now that I'm older and in a different ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

maftir 7th day of Pesach

The Luach Kolel Chabad says a minor can't be maftir on the seventh day of Pesach. Why?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Puzzles on Shabbat

Is it permitted to put together puzzles on Shabbat with children? Does it matter what kind of puzzle it is (jigsaw vs. fit the piece in the wooden hole)? Does it matter if there are words on the ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Passing an infant across a table

Is there a minhag that one should not pass a child over a table to another person to hold? In my family we would pass a child from person to person all the way around the table, but nobody could ever ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

Haircuts Erev Pesach

Are you allowed to take a Haircut The day of Erev Pesach after Burning the Chometz? Does it make a difference if your are a Male or female are small children Different?