I have read that an adoptive parent (for example) can convert a minor child as the change in status is considered to the advantage of the child so it does not need his consent. This child can renounce the conversion when he reaches adulthood. But examples like this seem to revolve around converting a very small child without his consent. What about a boy of 12 who, though he may not be an adult in halachic eyes, would need to be coerced (and even knocked out) to accommodate a bris milah that he resists.

Can a parent/beit din physically force a child - who is making his contrary intentions clear via thrashing his body and yelling "no" - to undergo a bris milah for the sake of conversion?

  • 4
    Whether they can or not, it's a terrible idea to be sure.
    – Double AA
    May 12, 2020 at 22:10
  • No doubt (and it would lead to a question of "if you now the child will renounce, is it to his advantage to force it anyway", but one step at a time...)
    – rosends
    May 12, 2020 at 22:17
  • I seem to recall those who say that the Rambam holds a non Jewish father owns his son to the point that he can convert him against his will. This seemingly would be until he's an adult, whenever that would be for a non jew
    – robev
    May 12, 2020 at 22:32
  • Where did you read that if I may ask?
    – Ilja
    May 12, 2020 at 22:55
  • 1
    @Harel where physically applicable, milah is definitely required and necessary
    – Double AA
    May 13, 2020 at 12:01


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