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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4
votes
1answer
76 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?
4
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
245 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
72 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
1answer
110 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 — ...
4
votes
3answers
905 views

Permissible laundry during the 9 days

Is there laundry that is permissible to wash during the 9 days? Kids' clothes, undergarments, socks, etc.? I've heard yes, but I'm looking for a source. (This blog post cites the RaM"A but doesn't ...
3
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
134 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
110 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
123 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
213 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
118 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
90 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
213 views

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

Would a gentile child - under the age of 13 (male)/12 (female) - that sees/touches wine make it into Yayin Nesech? Or can only an adult make it into Yayin Nesech?
6
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
212 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
128 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
104 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
132 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
104 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, ...
15
votes
6answers
519 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
372 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
286 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?
7
votes
3answers
203 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
2k 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
624 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
157 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
57 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
453 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
300 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
92 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
185 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
434 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
15
votes
7answers
726 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." ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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
241 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
84 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
411 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
180 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
235 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
237 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
254 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
106 views

Mitzvot for ketanim?

Are there any mitzvot that kids under bar/bat mitzvah are obligated to keep? (not including for "educational purposes")
16
votes
2answers
2k 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
293 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
2
votes
1answer
48 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
1k 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
57 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
101 views

First Barren Woman to Bear Children [closed]

Who was the first akarah (barren woman) in the Torah to bear children?