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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3
votes
1answer
167 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
107 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
85 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
2answers
187 views

Would a gentile child that sees/touches wine make it into Yayin Nesech?

Would a gentile child - under the age of 13/12 - that sees/touches wine make it into Yayin Nesech? Or can only an adult make it into Yayin Nesech?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

Can a Minor Convert Effect Yayin Nesach?

Per the answer to Are children adopted by Jews Jewish? a child that is adopted by Jewish parents when they reach adulthood (13/12) are given the choice of remaining Jewish. If I know of a child that ...
4
votes
3answers
185 views

Why not focus on halacha in elementary education?

From the Mishna B'rura's introduction to the rules of Shabas: …But by what means can we arrive at this level: that one keeps Shabas in all its details? The advice on this is that one urge himself ...
4
votes
0answers
120 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
100 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
122 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
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, ...
13
votes
6answers
440 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?
11
votes
2answers
292 views

3 year olds lighting a shabbat candle

When my eldest turned three her male cousin also turned three. Many of her friends and her cousin were getting Tzitzit. She asked for her own. We explained that boys wear TzitTzit and girls light ...
7
votes
2answers
260 views

Start of the Upsherin ceremony

When did it become popular to have a ceremony for a boys Upsherin, his first haircut when he reaches the age of three?
5
votes
2answers
157 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?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
444 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
380 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
262 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Does a child tear Kriyah at the Kosel?

Does a kid under Bar/Bas Mitzva have to tear Kriya when they go to the Kosel?
5
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
377 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
12
votes
9answers
522 views

What is the source for the “Upsheirin”?

In some families/communities, little boys do not get their hair cut until they are three, and then there is a gathering for cutting their hair. The haircut is called an "upsheirin" or "chalakeh." ...
4
votes
2answers
226 views

arachin: dependance on age and sex

Why is the erech (Vayikra 27:1–8) of a woman less than that of a man? And why does erech depend on age? Sources, please.
5
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

maftir 7th day of Pesach

The Luach Kolel Chabad says a minor can't be maftir on the seventh day of Pesach. Why?
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?
7
votes
2answers
168 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?
5
votes
3answers
197 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?
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Child and Lights on Shabbos

Can you put a Child who is not Yet old enough to understand (Lo Higyah Lichinuch) Shabbos in front of a Light switch in order that they turn it off or on and is there a difference between the two ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Lego on Shabbos

Is Lego Muktzeh? and can Adults use it too?
14
votes
3answers
239 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
103 views

Mitzvot for ketanim?

Are there any mitzvot that kids under bar/bat mitzvah are obligated to keep? (not including for "educational purposes")
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Apologetics for marriage at 3 years old

Are there contemporary apologetics for the Mishnah (Niddah 44b) that a girl of the age of 3 can be married by sexual relations? (It seems difficult to accept that such a thing is even allowed in ...
8
votes
3answers
273 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
2
votes
1answer
40 views

When should a minor be the one lighting the Chanuka candles? [closed]

When should a minor L'Chatchila be the one lighting the Chanuka candles?
6
votes
2answers
773 views

What size hex nut will properly fit a standard chanukah candle?

I have many a childhood memory of "helping" to make a chanukiyah out of a block of wood and eight hex nuts glued down to it (often with 2 more stacked in the center for shamash); each hex nut was ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Child Lighting Menorah in Shul

May a Child light the Menorah in Shul being that it is not the real lighting?
2
votes
1answer
97 views

First Barren Woman to Bear Children [closed]

Who was the first akarah (barren woman) in the Torah to bear children?
9
votes
3answers
173 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
7
votes
2answers
443 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?
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
596 views

Can too many decorations render a sukkah invalid?

I've seen some sukkahs (especially ones where they've had big "make sukkah decorations" kids' projects) where there are tons and tons and tons of decorations hanging down from the schach. At what ...
5
votes
1answer
218 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?
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Burial of Children

Why is it customary to bury children on the outskirts or in a separate section of the cemetery?
3
votes
2answers
92 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?
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Kids listening to music in sefira: what age

At which age should children be trained not to listen to music during sefira.
7
votes
5answers
521 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?