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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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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Lego on Shabbos

Is Lego Muktzeh? and can Adults use it too?
15
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
242 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
449 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?
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 ...
12
votes
9answers
544 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." ...
12
votes
3answers
388 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
599 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
266 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
196 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
278 views

Gift of a Teddy Bear to New Born Baby

Can I give a new born jewish baby a furry Teddy Bear? I was told that a handmade teddy bear especially made as a gift and given to a new born baby of a religious family was returned? A doll would be ...
8
votes
2answers
89 views

A child's tendency to skip words corrected/prompted by an instructor

When I am helping my young child say Birkat Hamazon or other prayers, I sometimes correct her pronunciation of a word or prompt her when she forgets what the next word is. In these situations, she ...
8
votes
3answers
104 views

Mitzvot for ketanim?

Are there any mitzvot that kids under bar/bat mitzvah are obligated to keep? (not including for "educational purposes")
8
votes
3answers
277 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
8
votes
1answer
809 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?
8
votes
1answer
110 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
535 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?
7
votes
2answers
459 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?
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?
7
votes
1answer
84 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?
7
votes
2answers
263 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
2answers
1k views

Why is age 3 the age at which a girl is able to have intercourse?

In msh210's answer to this question of mine, he stated that: women...who physically could be [intimate with men], which is those who had reached their third birthday. In comments, he mentioned ...
6
votes
3answers
211 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
100 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
2answers
847 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
147 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
1answer
65 views

How to teach tefilla to small children in a way that makes it meaningful?

Are there any schools of thought or practical methodologies for teaching tefilla to children under the age of 10 who are not native hebrew speakers in a way that is fun, engaging and makes the ...
6
votes
3answers
113 views

Can a child have the din of a “machalel shabbos b'farhasia”?

A Jew that is a m"chalel shabbos b'farhasia" (that they desecrate the Shabbos in public) could have a different status in regards to certain dinim -- for example handling wine that wasn't cooked and ...
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
112 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
386 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
5
votes
2answers
139 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
5
votes
2answers
238 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
223 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?
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?
5
votes
2answers
188 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?
5
votes
4answers
269 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
89 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
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
173 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
3answers
199 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?
5
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Is a child born to a kidnapper also considered kidnapped?

According to Torah law if a man kidnaps a woman and has a child with her is that child now considered kidnapped as well? The question being has the man now violated the prohibition of kidnapping ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

If the yetzer tov enters the body at bar mitzvah, how do we have well-behaved minors?

There's a notion that the yetzer tov enters the body at the age of bar mitzvah. If this is so how do we see children that behave properly and act kindly towards others?
5
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
475 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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 ...