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Looking for sources that describe what ages the word "tinok" or "tinokes" refers to for the halachic ramifications that related to "Melamdei Tinokos", teachers of tinokos (who have rules that relate to them in many parts of Halacha, such as setting them up in a city, YD 245, not needing to reread the parsha for Shnaim Mikra, OC 285, who to marry EH 2, etc.).

  • I suppose an implied premise of the question is that if a Melamed Tinokos only teaches, say, from 5-10, and someone teaches students from, say, 15 and older, the latter doesn’t count for these Halachos? – DonielF Nov 7 '18 at 16:40
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    Are you afraid of the word תינוקות, suspecting it does not cover the whole תלמוד תורה (school)? Can a Rabbi in a High Yeshiva (16-22) be considered מלמד תינוקות, you ask? – Al Berko Nov 7 '18 at 18:04
  • I think, as we hold that אזלינן בתר רובא, the whole shool is called מלמדי תינוקות as תינוקות are the majority of students in a תלמוד תורה. That's my pure guess. – Al Berko Nov 7 '18 at 18:06
  • If I had to venture a guess, I would think bar mitzva (13) seems a reasonable cutoff - since at that point they're inherently chayyiv to know, and teaching them is therefore qualitatively different. – Loewian Nov 7 '18 at 18:15
  • It sounds a bit funny, as asking "what's a definition of a ספר for בית הספר"? I think מלמד תינוקות is a conjunction (?), meaning it's one word as בית הספר או עורך הדין etc. So I'd advise to edit the title asking not about the definition of תינוק But the span of ages to qualify for מלמד תינוקות – Al Berko Nov 7 '18 at 18:45
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YD 245 itself in §8 brings a lower bound:

מכניסים התינוקות להתלמד בן חמש שנים שלימות ובפחות מכאן אין מכניסין אותן ואם הוא כחוש מכניסין אותו בן ו' שנים שלימות:

We bring tinokos to be taught at 5 complete years old, and no younger. If he is weak, we bring him at 6 complete years old.

  • good partial answer, thanks! (But still looking for an upper bound, so don't give up!) – רבות מחשבות Nov 7 '18 at 16:42
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    (BTW, this technically tells us that they are called tinokos from younger than 5, but that the melamdim should/would not be teaching them at that age. It's still an appropriate answer here, though.) – רבות מחשבות Nov 7 '18 at 16:44

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