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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?

  • Apparently it is permitted, the question is why it should be. – Moshe Dec 10 '11 at 23:07
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    I have been to Shuls where children say the Pesukai D'Zimra also. So long that there is no Kaddish or Kedusha which requires an adult, a child can say the Tefila in the role of a Chazan. – Gershon Gold Dec 10 '11 at 23:49
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According to the Rambam (Hilchot Tefilla chap. 9), only the following sections of davening (prayer services) require a Chazzan [over Bar Mitzvah]:

  • Kaddish
  • Birchot Kriat Shema
  • Shemona Esrei, Chazart haShatz, and Kedusha
  • Tachanun, Ashrei and Uva L'Tzion

In addition, if a part of davening doesn't require a minyan, it would make sense that a minor could lead it. Pseukei D'zimra and Anim Zemirot don't require a minyan, so it follows that a child could be chazzan.

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  • Source TBA for my second assertion ("in addition..."). If you know one, please let me know\add it to the answer. – Shmuel Dec 11 '11 at 1:17
  • I believe Ben Ish Hai holds that Hashem Melech and Baruch SheAmar should also be said by a bar mitzvaed person. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 5 '12 at 4:34
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    @Shmuel What about Krias haTorah? – Danny Schoemann Jan 18 '15 at 13:38
  • @DannySchoemann That doesn't need a Chazzan. It requires Olim. – Double AA Feb 8 '18 at 19:06
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From Wikipedia:

בבתי כנסת הנוהגים שהחזן קורא שורה והקהל קוראים שורה, נהוג לתת את החזנות לילד קטן (מתחת לגיל בר מצווה). יש הטוענים כי הסיבה לכך היא שרק ילד קטן ותמים יכול לדבר אל הקב"ה בצורה כה ישירה.

Translation:

In shuls where it is the custom to read the song responsively, it is customary to allow a child to be Chazzan. There are those who explain that this is because only an innocent child is able to speak to God in such a direct and forthright manner.

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  • Rabbi Barry Freundel repeatedly quoted Chasidei Ashkenaz, as authors of this prayer, saying that innocent children are the ideal leaders of this prayer. – Ze'ev misses Monica Aug 21 '12 at 6:50
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This is actually a machlokes among the contemporary poskim. See Dose of Halacha:

R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:81) holds that it is inappropriate for a child to lead anim zemiros.

Nonetheless, R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (12:96) held that a child may do so (See Ishei Yisrael 36:n196). Many shuls follow this, especially as they want to encourage child participation at the end of davening.

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