Is there anything wrong with a katan (child) receiving the honor of opening up the aron kodesh (for example when saying Avinu Malkeinu, or during Selichos, or after davening for Anim Zmiros, or even when to take out the Sefer Torah -- however perhaps the katan would just open the aron and someone else would take it out -- or perhaps even the katan would do this?)

The only reason I could of is that it's not a "kavod" for the tzibbur for a katan to receive this honor when there are gedolim there that have a chiyuv in mitzvas.


Before I made Aliyah, at Birmingham Central Synagogue (England) the custom was for a child to open the ark for An'im Zemirot. I don't know whether this is still practiced. It therefore appears to be permitted.


Rabbi Cohen at Dose of Halacha answers this:

To emphasize the holiness of anim zemiros, ascribed to R’ Yehuda Hachassid, we open the aron hakodesh while singing it. The Bach (OC 132) mentions the minhag to sing it daily, though most shuls sing it every Shabbos while the Vilna Gaon held that it should only be sung on Yom Tov (See Nesiv Bina 2 p260).

Due to this, 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.

  • 1
    The question was about opening the aron; not an'im zemriot.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 6 '16 at 0:31

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