Can a parent pretend to be the tooth fairy? By which I mean is a parent allowed to tell a child to put a lost tooth under their pillow and then at night when the child is sleeping switch the tooth for money and when the child asks for an explanation say that the tooth fairy takes the teeth in exchange for money?

Possible reasons this may be forbidden that I can think of would include: lying/genevas daas imitating the ways of the non-Jews

  • To paraphrase the moderator: why do you think it might be permitted?
    – Loewian
    Jun 2, 2015 at 3:38
  • @Loewian because children believe many fantastical things. If I read a child a berenstein bears book knowing that the child believes the characters are real am I over genevas daas? Jun 2, 2015 at 10:32
  • If anything, that should make it more of a problem - those who are lenient with regard to magic tricks (if the tricks are explained in advance) are still strict if the viewers believe it is actually magic.
    – Loewian
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:02
  • The difference between reading a book and tooth fairy is what you tell the child. No parent tricks their kids into believing in the Berenstein bears. When the kid realizes it's fake, he/she won't blame you.
    – N.T.
    Sep 2, 2022 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


You don't want to give your child false notions of how the world works. This might actually be Assur, in the same way we aren't supposed to give credence to untrue entities, or work with untrue, non-existent powers. That is what Darkei Emori is all about.

One may chant Shabriri Briri, but may not dance for the Cholent to work out. The difference is that the former exists and the latter does not. If Hashem gave them room to do something then recognizing that is fine. If he didn't, then by giving other entities space in our lives that were not meant to be, you are giving away Hashem's ownership. See Maharal, Tiferes Yisroel 46 for a related concept.

Although you aren't following a superstition yourself, you would be doing something worse, actively training someone to believe it.

More importantly, the Pasuk says שאל אביך ויגדך, ask your father and he will tell you. The ability of the Torah to go over to the next generation depends on how much your child will trust you. How will he be able to trust you on everything else once he finds this not to be true.

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