A number of shuls grapple with the question of how to involve children in tefillah. In orthodox shuls I regularly see boys (even under barmitzvah) reciting Anim Zemirot (this is common). I have seen children lead pesukei d'zimra on shabbat in sephardi minyanim, where they tend to recite paragraphs out loud and the children, as a result, have a good grasp of דיוק מילים. I have also seen children leading אין כאלוהינו at the end of Shabbat shacharit.

What are the halachic grounds for allowing boys under the age of barmitzvah to lead Kabbalat Shabbat?

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    I'm confused as to what exactly your question is. Isn't it pretty clear from the linked article? "Leading" kabbalat shabbat is halachically meaningless. Therefore there is no issue for a minor to do so. And in theory, a woman could also, were we not to worry that allowing this would lead to women serving as the chazzan for arvit.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 13 at 9:32
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    I didn't downvote but am also confused as to the second para. If. you ask about children, why bring women into the equation. Children and women are a very different set of issues. Could you clarify what you are asking about?
    – mbloch
    Commented Jun 13 at 14:04
  • A local Sephardic shul always has a child lead kabbalas Shabbos. I find it very beautiful.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jun 17 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


R. Dov Lior addresses the following question:

שאלה: האם ניתן למנות שליח ציבור נער בן עשר לתפילת קבלת שבת בלבד שהנוסח וכוונת התפילה ידועים לו היטב והוא מאד מעוניין בכך, לפי מנהגי אשכנז?

תשובה: אפשר, מפני שאינו מוציא אף אחד מהמתפללים ידי חובה וכל אחד אוצר בפני עצמו את פרקי התהילים האלה. אבל בקביעות אל תעשו כך, אלא אם יש צורך בזה.

Question: According to Ashkenazi custom may one appoint as a prayer leader a child that is ten years old for Qabalath Shabbath, provided that he knows the prayers well and their intentions, and is interested in doing so?

Answer: It is possible, since none of the other worshipers have any obligations fulfilled through him and they all are all a "treasure unto themselves" that know these chapters of Psalms. However to appoint him in perpetuity should not be done, unless there is a need to do so.

So it would seem that according to R. Lior, as long as a child knows what they are doing, and the appointment of a child does not become the usual practice (absent some pressing communal need), there is no problem in having a child lead Qabbalath Shabbath once in a while.

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    I’d imagine אוצר בפני עצמו is a typo for אומר בפני עצמו
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 15 at 18:21
  • @JoelK could be... I wasn't sure if it was a niche use of rabbinic idiom... I see the phrase comes up in a couple of midrashim but not exactly used like this. Commented Jun 16 at 17:14

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