A boy in cheder who has no internet at home, no tv, etc, is not exposed to human reproduction in the way that others are. It's therefore up to the parents to explain to him how children are born. Should this be an automatic process, where the child learns something in gemara and asks? Has anyone ever heard of any guidance on the matter given by Gedolim/Rabbonim?

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    I have friends who told me that their father (a local rav) would study Seder Nashim with them at around age 9 or 10 (IIRC) and use that as an opportunity to explain the relevant information to them along the way.
    – Fred
    Jan 2, 2013 at 21:39
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    Are you specifically asking about boys? (Girls probably wouldn't be learning gemara at the appropriate time, which is why I ask.) Jan 2, 2013 at 22:29
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    @MonicaCellio, well, at least probably not the girls who have no internet or TV at home. :) I agree with you that the more-or-less explicit scope of this question is "cheder boys" in particular.
    – Isaac Moses
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:35
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    Is there is reason for using a euphemism in the title of this question? (BTW You should make sure not to use euphemisms when talking about this to children - they don't understand the euphemism and it makes things incredibly confusing.)
    – Ariel
    Jan 3, 2013 at 0:38
  • @MonicaCellio, girls are usually more mature. In our case,when they started getting their periods, if they didn't know yet, that's when we started explaining the facts of life.
    – Shraga
    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


When teaching Kodesh at Yeshivas Toras Emes (High School) in Johannesburg almost 30 years ago, the Menahel HaRav Gedalia Sternstein שליט"א told me that the Rov - Rabbi Salzer זצ"ל - told him that it's best if the students learn about these things from the Gemora - BiKedusha uVeTaharo.

As relevant topics came up, we were to explain them is as much detail as needed.

I recall having to explain to a class of Bar Mitzva aged students about Nidda and counting 7 clean days and then going to the Mikva. As a newbie teacher I had no idea how to proceed. I warned them that I was only going to explain this once and that they had better pay attention. The boys paid attention, asked some relevant questions, and didn't seem bothered by the subject.

(Disclaimer: That was the only year I ever taught, as they were desperate for teachers; I work in Hi-Tech, usually.)

  • Yasher Koach, nice answer.
    – Shraga
    Jan 8, 2013 at 13:17

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