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Related is a animal more responsible then a child? if yes why?

Tangentially, to a statement made in this question: At what age is a Ben Noach responsible to perform his "mitzvot"?

A child before the age of adulthood (codified as 12/13, depending on gender) is not required to perform certain mitzvot, and is not held accountable for breaking some or not fulfilling some. Is this status as "child" an across-the-board one which absolves the child of ALL mitzvot? Is there a list of mitzvot that a child at any particular age or level of education is required to perform or observe, or be held accountable for, not the parent?

I have heard that under three years old also makes a difference in certain actions, and that a child "who understands the laws and his actions" is also held accountable in certain cases, but I don't know where to find a hard and fast rule about the particulars -- ages, defining features, types of mitzvot.

As a side note, the tag for "minor-katan-child" reads "Children of this age are minors with respect to various rules, including the obligation to fulfill mitzvos (God's commands)" (emphasis mine) -- is there a list of those "various rules"?

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  • "is not required to perform certain mitzvot". Children are exempt from all mitzvos. Do you mean Rabbinically? – robev Feb 9 at 12:19
  • I mean on all levels and by different levels of authority -- can an eleven year old intentionally eat treif and be totally absolved? What about keeping shabbos? Does a child therefore, not get any schar for what he does? – rosends Feb 9 at 12:24
  • @rosends a child is never held accountable! Under three his father has to stop him. A child never has an obligation his father has. – interested Feb 9 at 13:26
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    I'd like to find that Rema I imagine I remember. – MichoelR Feb 9 at 18:30
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    The Rema there points to Yoreh Deah 241, where the Darchei Moshe says a little more. I think it significantly waters down what I was claiming, but definitely doesn't eliminate it. – MichoelR Feb 10 at 15:30

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