Difference between revisions of "Chinuch"

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Every father has an obligation to educate his children to fulfill mitzvot, even before they reach the age of [[Bar Mitzvah]]/Bat Mitzvah. The age at which this obligation begins varies according to the Mitzvah. Below are the details of this Mitzvah
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There is a rabbinical obligation on every father to educate his children to fulfill mitzvot even before they reach the age of [[Bar Mitzvah]]/Bat Mitzvah.<ref>Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 59) writes that Chinuch is a rabbinical Mitzvah, and quotes the Chaye Adam (66:1) who writes that this is a Mitzvah Midivrei Kabbalah (institution of the Nevi'im). </ref> The age at which this obligation begins varies according to the Mitzvah. Below are the details of this Mitzvah.
==D’Orayta or D’Rabanan?==
 
The Mitzvah of Chinuch - to teach Torah to our children - is clearly a Mitzvah D’Orayta as explicitly stated: V’shinantam L’vanecha.<ref>Devarim 6 pasuk 7</ref> However, is the Mitzvah of chinuch - to instruct children to begin performing Mitzvot before they are of the age of Mitzvot - a mitzva D’Orayata or D’Rabanan?
 
  
#Rav Schneur Zalman of Liadi says that it is clearly a mitzvah D’rabanan because it is never mentioned in the Torah. <ref>Shulchun Aruch Harav Y.D. 246:1. see Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 59) writes that Chinuch is a rabbinical Mitzvah, and quotes the Chaye Adam (66:1) who writes that this is a Mitzvah Midivrei Kabbalah (institution of the Nevi'im).</ref>
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==Who is obligated in Chinuch?==
#However, Rav Meir Simchah of Dvinsk disagrees, citing Bereshit  “For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him”<ref>Bereshit Perek 18 pasuk 19 </ref> which he interprets to mean that Avraham was commanded to teach his household and children to perform the Mitzvot. This, however, is a general Mitzvah to teach children to appreciate Mitzvot. The Mitzvah to teach a child to perform each individual Mitzvah is D’Rabanan.<ref>Meshakh Ḥochmah Genesis 18:19 </ref>
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# While the majority of the Poskim hold that Chinuch only applies to the father, some say it also applies to the mother. <ref>Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 61). See further in the Magen Avraham 343, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 343, Mishna Brurah 616:5, Aruch HaShulchan 343, and Pri Megadim E"A 225:5. </ref>
#According to Rav  Soloveitchik, although teaching children the Mitzvot is D’Rabanan, the Mitzvah of Chinuch is modeled after the biblical commandment of Sippur Yitziat Mitzrayim. This commandment to retell the story of our ancestors is extended, and, while there is a special commandment to tell over the story of Egypt, we must retell all of the Torah and Mitzvot to our children using all of the educational methods we follow in Sippur Yitziat Mitzrayim. <ref>Benjamin Zimmerman, The Educational Experience of Sippur Yitziat Mizrayim </ref>
 
  
 
==At What Age?==
 
==At What Age?==
 
#The general age of when one starts to do mitzvos, is when the parents think that this child is mature enough to fulfill the whole mitzvah, even with its more complicated parts. <ref>See the examples on Sukkah 42a and Sukkah 28a</ref>
 
#The age of chinuch depends on the child's individual intelligence. Usually the age when a child is intelligent enough for mitzvos is 5 or 6 years of age. <ref>Mishnah Berurah 128:123.</ref>
 
##For Shabbat some say that the age of chinuch begins at age 4 or 5.<ref>Muktzeh: A Practical Guide (Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen p. 138)</ref>
 
#There are some mitzvos in which parents start training their children even before five years of age. But some mitzvos can be more complicated and parents should wait until children are older to train them.<ref>Mishnah Berurah 128:123 </ref>
 
#A child can make several mistakes before they can begin to execute the mitzvah properly. But if one does make a mistake trying to execute the mitzvah, the parents should not get frustrated with their kid and instead should encourage them to try again. <ref>Mishnah Berurah 343:3</ref>
 
 
==Who is obligated in Chinuch?==
 
 
*There is a machloket in the commentaries regarding whether the mitzvah of chinuch is for the parent or the child.
 
 
#The book of  Mishlei says that one should teach his child in a manner which will stick with him forever: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Rashi comments on this pasuk saying that depending on what you teach him those lessons will affect him the rest of his life. This means that the parent has the responsibility to teach the child life lessons. This belief would suggest that chinuch is a mitzvah for the father, because he is the one who will have the ability to affect his child's future.<ref>Mishlei (22:6) and Rashi there as cited in ShortVort written by D. Fine. Ritva Sukkah 2b s.v. amar rabbi yehuda and Mishna Brurah 343:2 cite Mishlei as the source for chinuch. </ref>
 
#Some rishonim hold that the son isn't obligated in mitzvot at all and it is only father who is obligated to train his son in mitzvot.<ref>Rashi (Brachot 20a s.v. ketanim), Ran (Megillah 6b s.v. rabbi yehuda) citing the Ramban, Ritva (Megillah 19b s.v. hakol), Tosfot Bava Kama 87a s.v. vkein</ref> However, others hold that the child himself is rabbinically obligated in mitzvot.<ref>Tosfot (Megillah 19b s.v. vrabbi yehuda), Tosfot (Brachot 20a s.v. vketanim), Rashba (Brachot 20a s.v. nashim)</ref>
 
#While the majority of the Poskim hold that Chinuch only applies to the father, some say it also applies to the mother. <ref>Mishna Brurah 343:2, Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 61). See further in the Magen Avraham 343, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 343, Mishna Brurah 616:5, Aruch HaShulchan 343, and Pri Megadim E"A 225:5.
 
 
*The Gemara Nazir 28b writes that there is only an idea of a father training his son in being a nazir and not a mother. Reish Lakish understands that this is an example of chinuch. Tosfot Yeshanim (Yoma 82a s.v. ben) explicitly holds that there is no chinuch for a mother. Aruch Lener Sukkah 2b agrees. Ritva (Sukkah 2b s.v. amar rabbi yehuda) assumes that there is chinuch for a mother.</ref>
 
 
==How Completely Must the Mitzvah Be Performed?==
 
 
*The obligation of chinuch is for a father to train his son to do mitzvot, before he is required. The question that arises is: can a father fulfill his obligation by training his children to learn the basics of the mitzvah or must a father teach his son to perform the mitzvot perfectly. There are many different views on how a father should approach this issue.
 
 
#Some examples of cases of chinuch are with a lulav and with tzitzit. While the obligation of chinuch is only fulfilled if you give your child a perfectly kosher lulav and pair of tzitzit, you don’t have to give your child lulav hadar. In addition, you also don’t have to teach your child to have kavanah while performing the mitzvah. From this, we can infer that while it is important to teach your child to not perform the mitzvah in a non-kosher way, it is also not necessary to make your child fully enthralled in all aspects of the mitzvah.<ref>Fine, D. "The Mitzvah of Chinuch Explored." Shortvort. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.</ref>
 
#There is a dispute whether a father fulfills his obligation when letting his child use a borrowed lulav for sukkot.<ref>Mishna Brurah 628:28</ref> This question revolves around whether the nature of the obligation of chinuch was to train the child to do mitzvot when he gets older in which case it would suffice or was it that the rabbis imposed an obligation upon the child to do mitzvot before he becomes Biblically obligated.<ref>Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe YD 1:224. See Ritva (Sukkah 2b s.v. amar rabbi yehuda) who says that a sukkah above 20 amot is invalid for chinuch and concludes that the mitzvah of chinuch has to be fulfilled in a complete fashion.</ref>
 
  
 
==Until When?==
 
==Until When?==
 
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# Although the primary purpose of Chinuch is to train children when they are young so that they continue to perform the Mitzvot during adulthood, the parents' obligations does not end when a child reaches bar or bat mitzvah. A parent must make sure that the child continues to adhere to all biblical or rabbinic laws even after maturity. <ref> Children in Halacha pg. 8 </ref>  
#Although the primary purpose of Chinuch is to train children when they are young so that they continue to perform the Mitzvot during adulthood, the parents' obligation does not end when a child reaches bar or bat mitzvah. A parent must make sure that the child continues to adhere to all biblical or rabbinic laws even after maturity. <ref>Children in Halacha pg. 8 </ref>
 
  
 
==Daily Mitzvot==
 
==Daily Mitzvot==
===Prayer===
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# Regarding a child's obligation to pray, see the [[Obligation_to_pray#Children]] page.
 
 
#Regarding a child's obligation to pray, see the [[Obligation_to_pray#Children| Children's obligation to Pray]] page.
 
 
 
===Berachot===
 
 
 
#Children should be taught to say berachot before food at the age of 5, or when the children are able to say it properly. However many people have different customs to start having children say berachot at an earlier age. <ref>"CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>,                                                                                                    שלחן ערוך א”ח רט”ו:ג as cited in Singer, Shmuel. "A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot." Google Books. Shmuel Singer, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <https://books.google.com/books?id=55NdTR7HfYAC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=age%2Bchildren%2Bberachot&source=bl&ots=zwGJnqECD_&sig=xSHlovDBimMjahI64ia2ltu_5ho&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHopOi39bKAhUBLyYKHRqADUEQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=age%20children%20berachot&f=false>.
 
 
 
*Yalkut Yosef (Chinuch p. 20) quotes the Chikrei Lev who proves that there is chinuch even on mitzvot derabanan, as the gemara Rosh Hashana 29b indicates that a person should teach his son how to make hamotzei before eating bread.</ref>
 
#Some say that children from the age of 6 should say Birkat Hamazon.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 18:2. Also see Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com writes that parents should ensure that children from the age of 6 say Birkat HaMazon. </ref> Some say that a child who is unable to recite the regular text of Birkat Hamazon should recite an abbreviated version.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 28) based on M.B. 187:4. Sefer Chinuch Yisroel page 93 says it is not right to teach a child to only say the first bracha as that is teaching them to do the wrong thing and it may be a blessing in vain. See also Rav Elyashiv (V'Zos HaBracha 20:3)</ref> Others say, he should be taught to say as much as he can.<ref>Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichot Shlomo Tefillah 1:8) explains that we don't usually say the abbreviated text, so we shouldn't teach children differently than the normal practice.</ref>
 
#In order to teach children what berachot they should say and how they should say them, anyone<ref>M.B. 167:93 says this is not limited to parents, but one may help any child who cannot make a bracha on their own</ref> may show/teach the children by saying the full berachot for the child even where the child doesn't presently have to make that bracha.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 167:19. M.B. 215:14 says even a teacher can mention the name of Hashem to teach children.
 
See Chanoch L’Naar (14:4). As cited in "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>.</ref> Some say that when possible, the adult should just begin pronouncing the name of God, and have the child pronounce the entire Name.<ref>Aishel Avraham 167:19</ref>
 
#A parent is allowed to answer “amen” to berachot that are said by a child at the proper time, but not when it is just for practice.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 215:3 </ref>
 
##Some limit this to answering "amen" to a child who has reached the age of chinuch,<ref>M.B. 215:16 and Aruch HaShulchan 215:2. Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 22 footnote 6) explains that since the child has not reached the age of chinuch, it is not a bracha and therefore one shouldn't answer amen.</ref> but others allow answering "amen" even to a child before the age of chinuch. The custom is to answer even to younger children.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 22) quoting from Shmirat Shabbat KiHilchita Mahdura Kama 32:193 explains that it is teaching children to answer Amen after brachot. </ref>
 
#Children that are older than five or six, or whatever age the accepted custom says, and get up in the middle of the night, should not eat unless they said the proper berachot beforehand. <ref>"CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>. </ref>
 
#While there is a prohibition in saying G-d's Name (Ado-nai) when it is isn't warranted, the prohibition is waived when being used in the process of Chinuch. Therefore, it is permitted (obligatory, rather) to say the full [[Brachot|Bracha]], with Shem and Malchut, in order to teach a child how and when to say what [[Brachot]].<ref>The Gemara (Brachot 53b) says that one doesn’t say amen after the [[Brachot|Bracha]] of a katan when he is just saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as he is being taught the Brachot. The Rambam (Brachot 1:15) codifies as halacha. The Kesef Mishna there writes that it’s clearly implied that the teacher is permitted to say the Brachot with Hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot and when the children repeat the [[Brachot|Bracha]] after him, since the [[Brachot|Bracha]] is only for Chinuch, one doesn’t answer amen. Shulchan Aruch 215:3 rules that if a child is saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as he is learning from his teacher one doesn’t answer amen, but if a child says a [[Brachot|Bracha]] in order to exempt himself from some obligation (meaning saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] when he is obligated to say it), then one should answer amen.
 
 
 
*Mishna Brurah 215:14 writes that it is permitted for the teacher to say the Brachot with Hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot. Although saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] for Chinuch is permitted, saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as one is learning such as an adult who finds the text of a [[Brachot|Bracha]] in the gemara as he is learning should not say the [[Brachot|Bracha]] with Hashem’s name as one is reading the gemara. However, Yalkut Yosef 215:15 writes that in order to teach a child how to say Brachot one may say them with Hashem’s name, however, once the child knows how to make a [[Brachot|Bracha]] and he just needs help in saying the [[Brachot|Bracha]] one should say it without Hashem’s name.</ref>
 
#With regards to Birkat HaGomel see [[Birkat_HaGomel#Who_is_obligated_to_make_Birchat_HaGomel.3F|Birkat HaGomel page]].
 
 
 
===Talit Katan===
 
 
 
#One should buy a talit katan for a child who has reached the age of chinuch.<ref>Shulchan Aruch O.C. 17:3
 
 
 
Aruch HaShulchan 17:5 asks why one is obligated to buy his child a talit as the mitzvah of tzitzit is limited to one who is wearing a four cornered garment. So if one doesn't have the garment, there is no requirement? Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 15 footnote 8) quotes the Bach s.v. katan that since the custom is that everyone wears tzitzit, one is obligated in chinuch of this custom as well.
 
</ref>
 
#There are a variety of opinions for the age of chinuch for talit katan
 
##Some say it is six or seven.<ref>Bach 16 s.v. umah shekasiv rabbaynu</ref>
 
##Others says that it is nine.<ref>Magen Avraham 16:1. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe Y.D. 3:52:2) says that under the age of nine, the talit katan does not need the proper measurements. Aruch HaShulchan 16:5 says a talit katan has no shiur.</ref>
 
##The common custom is from the age of three.<ref>Sharay Teshuva 17:2 and Aruch HaShulchan 17:5</ref>
 
 
 
===Washing Hands===
 
 
 
#Children that have not reached the age of bar or bat mitzvah are required to wash their hands before eating bread. Even though washing hands is a mitzvah derabanan, it is a mitzvah of chinuch to teach kids mitzvot that are derabanan. <ref>Yalkut Yosef Dinei [[Netilat Yadayim]], Birkat Hamazon, [[Brachot]], [[Mincha]] and [[Arvit]] page 13-14 based on the Yerushalmi in Megilla 2:5 that [[chinuch]] of children applies to rabbinic laws as cited in [[Netilat Yadayim for a Meal]]. 
 
<br /> An important lesson about chinuch in general can be learned from a story about trying to teach one’s son to wash before eating. It talks about a little kid who did not wash before eating bread. This infuriated his dad so he went to get something to hit him with. When he wound up to hit his son, his wife immediately stopped him and reminded him that he does not wash before eating bread either, thus he should be the one that is hit. The lesson is that if you want to successfully teach your children mitzvot, you have to take ownership and do the mitzvah as well. "חינוך לדורות - חינוך במעשים."  <http://raktora.50webs.com/hinuh1.htm>.</ref>
 
#One opinion is that even when the child is being spoon fed because he does not have the motor skills to feed himself yet, he still is required to wash for bread when he eats more than a Kezayit. <ref>הרב אבישלום מונייצר שליט''א. "ילדים כהלכה." ילדים כהלכה. ''</ref>
 
#Harav Adir Cohen says that when the child can say the bracha they should wash their hands before eating bread. Since in many kindergarten and nursery classrooms they have posters of the bracha on the wall, they have already memorized it when they are young. Therefore, they should be able to wash by then. <ref>הרב אדיר הכהן שליט"א. " חינוך לנטילת ידים לילדים." חינוך לנטילת ידים לילדים. </ref>
 
#Children that have reached the age of chinuch should be trained to wash their hands upon rising in the morning and they should not touch food before washing hands.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 14). Shulchan Aruch haRav 4:2. M.B. 4:10 says that one should be careful with young children, and doesn't clarify if this is only once they reach the age of chinuch</ref> Some say parents should try and wash the hands of their children, regardless of their age.<ref>Shulchan Aruch haRav 4:2 says one should be careful starting after the brit milah to wash his son's hands. Shut Tzitz Eliezer 7:2:10 says there is no obligation before the age of chinuch, but to get the child into a good habit, it is advisable to wash his hands even before the age of chinuch. However, do not put pressure on the child, but do it pleasantly as there is no issue if they touch food. Halichos Bas Yisroel perek 1 footnote 22 quotes in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein that although it is not required, it is a good idea to wash the hands of your children even before the age of chinuch.</ref>
 
#Children who have reached the age of chinuch should be trained to wash their hands after going to the bathroom or touching parts of their body that are generally covered.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 15). Chinuch Yisroel page 63.
 
 
 
Shut Tzitz Eliezer 7:2:4 says one can still learn with a child who touches their scalp or shoes.</ref>
 
 
 
==Bringing Children to Shul==
 
There is a lot of controversy over the issue of bringing your kids to shul. Is it a positive thing that will be positive for their future or will it be a distraction to others and a negative outlook on shul for the child?
 
 
 
#Some say that bringing children to shul before they are ready infuses them with spirituality just like a bris milah is given to a child before the age of chinuch because it infuses him with spirituality. <ref>[http://www.aish.com/jl/jewish-law/daily-living/4-Children-and-Halacha.html Rabbi Shraga Simmons]  </ref>
 
#The gemara  writes that the reason why children were also supposed to assemble at hakhel was to ‘bring reward to those who brought them’. Tosafot comments that this is the source for bringing children to shul.<ref>Chagigah 3a</ref>
 
#The Shla hakadosh was frustrated by people who brought kids to shul who were not yet old enough to be in shul without making disruptions and bothering the shul. This will leave an impression on the child and he will feel distaste towards the shul as an adult because of it. <ref>Mishnah Berurah 98:3 who quotes the Shla Hakadosh:</ref>
 
#The Mishna Berura writes that one shouldn’t daven with a young child in front of himm as the child will likely distract him.<ref>Mishna Berura 96:4</ref>
 
#The Shulchan Aruch writes that children should listen to the megilla being read on Purim. The Mishna Berura  writes that this is only applicable to children who have reached the age of chinuch. The Chafetz Chaim bemoans the unfortunate reality that many parents bring their younger children who disturb everyone else. <ref>The Shulchan Aruch (OC 689:1-3)</ref>
 
#One should not kiss a young child in shul.<ref>Rama O.C. 98:1 quotes Shut Binyamin Zev 163 that explains the reason is, so that one realizes that there is no love like the love one has for Hashem. See Sefer Chasidim 255
 
 
 
Rav Ovadya Yosef (Shut Yichaveh Daas 4:12) says that this applies to both young and old children and even to other people. However, he says that the custom to kiss a rav or father on the hand is definitely permitted. He explains that they are different as there is a mitzvah to honor them, so giving them honor is a form of honoring Hashem.</ref> Some limit this to the time of prayer.<ref>Rav Michel Sherkin (Meged Givot Olam Chelek 1 page 92) says Rav Moshe Feinstein felt that this prohibition is limited  to the time of tefillah (as discussed by the Gra O.C. 98:1 by the fact that the Rama has this halcha in Hilchot Tefillah, not Hilchot Bet Hakneset).</ref> Others do not accept this distinction.<ref>Rav Hershel Schachter quoted by his son <nowiki>https://www.yutorah.org/sidebar/lecture.cfm/802649/rabbi-shay-schachter/kissing-our-children-in-shul/</nowiki> at 2:20</ref>
 
  
==A Kohen Becoming Tamei==
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==Teaching Children Berachot==
  
#Hacham Ovadia Yosef says a kohen’s wife who is pregnant while she knows it's a male is allowed to go to cemeteries while pregnant because the fetus is considered to be a part of the mother. <ref>dailyhalacha.com</ref> Rav Elyashiv says that a kohen’s wife who is giving birth to a male needs to make sure the hospital is one where the child won't become tamei after being born. <ref>dailyhalacha.com</ref>
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* Children should be taught to say berachot before food at the age of 5, or when the children are able to say it properly. However many people have different customs to start having children say berachot at an earlier age. <ref> "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>,                                                                                                    שלחן ערוך א”ח רט”ו:ג as cited in Singer, Shmuel. "A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot." Google Books. Shmuel Singer, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <https://books.google.com/books?id=55NdTR7HfYAC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=age%2Bchildren%2Bberachot&source=bl&ots=zwGJnqECD_&sig=xSHlovDBimMjahI64ia2ltu_5ho&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHopOi39bKAhUBLyYKHRqADUEQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=age%20children%20berachot&f=false>. </ref>
#A kohen must never become Tamei, so as a baby it is the parent's responsibility to keep the baby from being near dead bodies.<ref>dinonline.org</ref>
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* Some say that children from the age of 6 should say Birkat Hamazon <ref> Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com writes that parents should ensure that children from the age of 6 say Birkat HaMazon. </ref>
#Once the Kohen is old enough and mature enough to be taught the obligation of not becoming tamei the responsibility to keep the child from becoming Tamei falls off the parents and on the child <ref>dinonline.org</ref>
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* In order to teach children what berachot they should say, and how they should say them, the parent should show/teach the children by saying berachot in front of the child. A parent of a young child is allowed to help the child say the berachot by saying it with them, including the saying of G-d’s name, and the parent is allowed to answer “amen” to berachot that are said improperly or are incomplete if the child is still learning. <ref> Mishnah Berurah (167:93) . See Chanoch L’Naar (14:4). As cited in "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>. </ref>
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* Children that are older than five or six, or whatever age the accepted custom says, and get up in the middle of the night, should not eat unless they said the proper berachot before hand. <ref> "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>. </ref>
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* While there is a prohibition in saying G-d's Name (Ado-nai), when it is isn't warranted, the prohibition is waived when being used in the process of Chinuch. Therefore, it is permitted(obligatory, rather) to say the full [[Brachot|Bracha]], with Shem and Malchut, in order to teach a child how and when to say what [[Brachot]].<ref>The Gemara (Brachot 53b) says that one doesn’t say amen after the [[Brachot|Bracha]] of a katan when he is just saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as he is being taught the Brachot. The Rambam (Brachot 1:15) codifies as halacha. The Kesef Mishna there writes that it’s clearly implied that the teacher is permitted to say the Brachot with hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot and when the children repeat the [[Brachot|Bracha]] after him, since the [[Brachot|Bracha]] is only for Chinuch, one doesn’t answer amen. Shulchan Aruch 215:3 rules that if a child is saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as he is learning from his teacher one doesn’t answer amen, but if a child says a [[Brachot|Bracha]] in order to exempt himself from some obligation (meaning saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] when he is obligated to say it), then one should answer amen.
 +
* Mishna Brurah 215:14 writes that it is permitted for the teacher to say the Brachot with hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot. Although saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] for Chinuch is permitted, saying a [[Brachot|Bracha]] as one is learning such as an adult who finds the text of a [[Brachot|Bracha]] in the gemara as he is learning should not say the [[Brachot|Bracha]] with hashem’s name as one is reading the gemara. However, Yalkut Yosef 215:15 writes that in order to teach a child how to say Brachot one may say them with Hashem’s name, however, once the child knows how to make a [[Brachot|Bracha]] and he just needs help in saying the [[Brachot|Bracha]] one should say it without ashem’s name.</ref>
  
 
==Shabbat==
 
==Shabbat==
===Kiddush and Havdalah===
 
 
#When a child is able to understand when it is Shabbat, then he or she must hear kiddush and havdalah. Understanding that it is Shabbos does not mean that he or she only says good shabbos and that’s all; rather a kid must understand that it’s the 7th day and it’s the rest day and not a day to do work. <ref>Rabbi Dovid Ostroff, The Shabbos Weekly. See M.B. 269:1</ref>
 
#When a child is of that age, parents must make sure to call the child to the table to hear kiddush. <ref>Rabbi Dovid Ostroff, The Shabbos Weekly</ref> However, unlike adults, children are permitted to eat before kiddush is recited.<ref>M.B. 269:1</ref>
 
#If a child goes to sleep before hearing havdallah or Kiddush on Friday night and it is past the child’s normal bedtime, some say it is not necessary to wake him or her up for Kiddush/Havdalah.<ref>Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurebach as cited in Rabbi Dovid Ostroff, The Shabbos Weekly</ref> Others say that on Friday night, the child may say Kiddush before going to sleep after [[plag haMincha]].<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 58) </ref> Others suggest that if the child did not say kiddush on Friday night or havdallah,  he should say the Friday night text for the Shabbos morning kiddush and havdallah when he wakes up on Sunday morning.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 58) quoting from Sefer Chinuch Yisroel page 99. Rav Cohen says that we have an obligation of chinuch even for bdieved situations. Our children have to know what to do when they grow up and this situation occurs.</ref>
 
 
===Kavod Shabbat===
 
 
#Children who have reached the age of chinuch should be taught to assist in preparing for shabbat.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 55)</ref>
 
#Children who have reached the age of chinuch should be given special clothes for shabbat.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 56)</ref>
 
#The obligation to light candles before shabbat can be fulfilled by one member of the house lighting. Nevertheless, some have the custom for the young girls to light their own candles.<ref>Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 56) quoting from Aruch HaShulchan 263:7</ref>
 
 
===Melacha on Shabbat===
 
 
#On shabbat, a parent cannot tell a kid to do melacha
 
#According to one opinion, you can have a child do melacha for you if it is only an issur derabanan<ref>Turei Zahav as cited in A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot: A Halachic Guide By: Samuel Singer</ref> According to most opinions you may not ask a child to do a melacha for you under any circumstances even melacha derabanan. <ref>A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot: A Halachic Guide By: Samuel Singer </ref>
 
#Even though one cannot ask a child to do melacha, if a young child is playing with a toy that makes noise on shabbat, you don’t have to tell the kid to stop if he is too young to understand the laws of shabbat <ref>A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot: A Halachic Guide By: Samuel Singer </ref>
 
#But, if a kid is old enough to understand which actions are forbidden and which are allowed to do on shabbat, then you must stop him from doing melacha <ref>A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot: A Halachic Guide By: Samuel Singer </ref>
 
  
 
==Holidays==
 
==Holidays==
===The Seder===
+
# There is a minhag for a boy to fast 3 fasts prior to his Bar Mitzvah.<Ref>Rav Nevinsal (B'Yitzchak Ikara 550:1) comments that the minhag ashkenaz is for a boy to fast 3 times prior to his bar mitzvah, though he doesn't know the basis for this minhag.</ref>
 
 
#The age a child should be kept up for the whole pesach seder is when he can fully understand the mitzvah and the story of Egypt. This of course varies depending on how the child matures, but for most it is between age 5-7.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 472:15. Shulchan Aruch Harav 472:25</ref>
 
#A child should drink the four cups when he can understand, even just a little bit, the story of Egypt; he does not, however, need to drink the same amount as an adult but rather a child-size cheek full <ref>The Laws of Pesach on www.neveh.org </ref>
 
 
 
===Lulav===
 
 
 
#Children are chayav to perform the mitzvah of lulav when they are able to shake the lulav <ref>Gemara sukkah 42a</ref>
 
#The Turei Zahav says that a parent should buy his son his own set of lulav if he is able to do it, and the father has the financial means to do it.
 
#if you are going to buy your child a lulav, it is preferable, if they are going to make a bracha on it, that it be kosher. <ref>"Sukkot." A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mizvot. Hoboken: Ketav House, 1991.53. Print.</ref>
 
#Although the lulav should be kosher, according to some, on the first day of Sukkot a child does not have to own his lulav like adults do. According to others, a child should also use a lulav that he owns. Therefore, the child should use the lulav after all adults have used the lulav, because a child can acquire a lulav from an adult, but cannot transfer it back to the adult’s ownership.<ref>"Sukkot." A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mizvot. Hoboken: Ketav House, 1991.59. Print.</ref>
 
#The child is not able to give back the lulav because he is unable to understand the practices of business enough to give back the lulav. <ref>"Sukkot." A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mizvot. Hoboken: Ketav House, 1991. 53 . Print.</ref>
 
#You can have your child use the non-kosher set of lulav but you do not fulfill the mitzvah of chinuch. <ref>"Sukkot." A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mizvot. Hoboken: Ketav House, 1991. 61-63. Print.</ref>
 
 
 
===Fasting===
 
 
 
#There is a minhag for a boy to fast 3 fasts prior to his Bar Mitzvah.<ref>Rav Nevinsal (B'Yitzchak Yikare 550:1) comments that the minhag ashkenaz is for a boy to fast 3 times prior to his bar mitzvah, though he doesn't know the basis for this minhag.</ref>
 
 
 
==Torah Study==
 
 
 
#The Torah study of pure children is very precious before Hashem and it provides spiritual protection to the whole world.<ref>The Gemara Shabbat 119a quotes Reish Lakish as saying that the world stands on the merit of the children's torah study. Furthermore, says the Gemara, a city which doesn't have its children studying Torah is going to be destroyed.</ref>
 
  
 
==Chinuch Attitude==
 
==Chinuch Attitude==
 
+
# A life devoted to HaShem is the most pleasurable and fulfilling one. Therefore, the Chinuch stage must be pleasing and joyful for children. The proper attitude and approach for children to learn is through "Darchei No'am" (pleasant ways). <ref> Rambam in his introduction to Perek HaChelek elaborates on how a child should be given sweets to encourage him to learn, as he gets older he should be given bigger prizes until eventually he will appreciate the value of the Torah itself and be motivated to learn it for no other reason, </ref>
#A life devoted to Hashem is the most pleasurable and fulfilling one. Therefore, the Chinuch stage must be pleasing and joyful for children. The proper attitude and approach for children to learn is through "Darchei No'am" (pleasant ways). <ref>Rambam in his introduction to Perek Chelek elaborates on how a child should be given sweets to encourage him to learn, as he gets older he should be given bigger prizes until eventually he will appreciate the value of the Torah itself and be motivated to learn it for no other reason </ref>
+
# A parent and/or teacher should generally be careful not to be excessively forceful. There are several cases where Talmudic personalities praised their behavior of not being "makpid"(strict) in their home over their wives and children even though they lived a life filled with mitzvot.<ref>Gitin 7a</ref>
#A parent and/or teacher should generally be careful not to be excessively forceful. There are several cases where Talmudic personalities praised their behavior of not being "makpid"(strict) in their home over their wives and children even though they lived a life filled with mitzvot <ref>Gitin 7a</ref>
 
#The gedolim have all agreed that hitting children in the name of chinuch is forbidden.<ref>Rav Wolbe in Biyan Uzeriya Bechinuch. Rav Kook in Ayn Ayah Brachot 7a:70</ref>
 
 
 
==Feeding a Child Something Forbidden==
 
 
 
#It is forbidden to feed a child something that is forbidden, whether it is forbidden from the Torah or rabbinically.<ref>The Rambam Machalot Asurot 17:27 holds that it is forbidden to feed a child something forbidden whether that prohibition is from the Torah or rabbinic. The Rashba responsa 1:92 argues that it is permitted as long as it is only rabbinic yet he cautioned that he didn't rule like that in practice. Ran Yoma 1a quotes the Rashba. The Shulchan Aruch 343:1 holds like the Rambam.</ref>
 
#It is permitted to feed a baby milk an hour after they finished eating meat even though the minhag is to not to have milk after meat for several hours.<ref>Chelkat Yakov YD 1:16 is lenient to permit a baby to drink milk after eating meat since it is only a minhag and since a minhag is based on a vow it a child's vows aren't effective. However, he limits this leniency to this context and only permits in conjunction with the fact that a baby is considered like a choleh shein bo sakana if they need to drink milk for health. Yabia Omer YD 1:4 is lenient after an hour but adds that perhaps there's no prohibition of feeding a child something forbidden if it is only an external prohibition and not a prohibition of the food itself.</ref>
 
#Many poskim are lenient even for Ashkenazim to feed a child who needs to eat kitniyot on Pesach for health reasons since it is only a minhag.<ref>Shem Aryeh EH 95 writes that there's no issue with feeding a child below chinuch something (latfiso byadayim) that is only a chumra and not even a rabbinic prohibition. He is writing about not eating dried fruits on Pesach which was a certain minhag. The Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 6:6 quotes it regarding Kitniyot. Siach Yitzchak responsa 210 agrees. Yechave Daat 1:9 agrees. He quotes Kol Mevaser 778, Agudat Ezov 12 who also agree that there's no prohibition of feeding a child something that's only a minhag. Agudat Ezov is lenient even with bishul akum. Sdei Chemed Asifat Zekenim Bishul Goyim 15 quotes that.</ref>
 
#Putting a diaper on a baby on Shabbat that has a color strip which changes colors when the baby goes to the bathroom is permitted.<ref>Rav Nissim Karelitz in Chut Shani Shabbat v. 4 p. 287 writes that it is permitted to put a diaper on a baby that is going to change colors when the baby goes to the bathroom and it isn't considered causing your baby to do a melacha of coloring on Shabbat. The reason is that when the diaper is put on there's no change and when the baby goes to the bathroom he is mitasek and there's no issue of causing your child to do a melacha as a mitasek.</ref>
 
#Feeding your child a cookie with letters on it on Shabbat is permitted.<ref>Mishna Brurah on 340:3 writes that it is permitted to give your child a cookie with letters on it even though for an adult it is forbidden to eat it since it will erase the letters. Chut Shani Shabbat v. 4 p. 293 explains that it is permitted since erasing the letters is at worst derabbanan and also some poskim permit it altogether. Also, there's no problem of causing your child to do something forbidden if it is a pesik reisha unless the child realizes that he's doing it for the benefit of the child.</ref>
 
  
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
<references />
+
<references/>
 
[[Category:Lifecycles]]
 
[[Category:Lifecycles]]

Revision as of 07:44, 10 February 2016

There is a rabbinical obligation on every father to educate his children to fulfill mitzvot even before they reach the age of Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah.[1] The age at which this obligation begins varies according to the Mitzvah. Below are the details of this Mitzvah.

Who is obligated in Chinuch?

  1. While the majority of the Poskim hold that Chinuch only applies to the father, some say it also applies to the mother. [2]

At What Age?

Until When?

  1. Although the primary purpose of Chinuch is to train children when they are young so that they continue to perform the Mitzvot during adulthood, the parents' obligations does not end when a child reaches bar or bat mitzvah. A parent must make sure that the child continues to adhere to all biblical or rabbinic laws even after maturity. [3]

Daily Mitzvot

  1. Regarding a child's obligation to pray, see the Obligation_to_pray#Children page.

Teaching Children Berachot

  • Children should be taught to say berachot before food at the age of 5, or when the children are able to say it properly. However many people have different customs to start having children say berachot at an earlier age. [4]
  • Some say that children from the age of 6 should say Birkat Hamazon [5]
  • In order to teach children what berachot they should say, and how they should say them, the parent should show/teach the children by saying berachot in front of the child. A parent of a young child is allowed to help the child say the berachot by saying it with them, including the saying of G-d’s name, and the parent is allowed to answer “amen” to berachot that are said improperly or are incomplete if the child is still learning. [6]
  • Children that are older than five or six, or whatever age the accepted custom says, and get up in the middle of the night, should not eat unless they said the proper berachot before hand. [7]
  • While there is a prohibition in saying G-d's Name (Ado-nai), when it is isn't warranted, the prohibition is waived when being used in the process of Chinuch. Therefore, it is permitted(obligatory, rather) to say the full Bracha, with Shem and Malchut, in order to teach a child how and when to say what Brachot.[8]

Shabbat

Holidays

  1. There is a minhag for a boy to fast 3 fasts prior to his Bar Mitzvah.[9]

Chinuch Attitude

  1. A life devoted to HaShem is the most pleasurable and fulfilling one. Therefore, the Chinuch stage must be pleasing and joyful for children. The proper attitude and approach for children to learn is through "Darchei No'am" (pleasant ways). [10]
  2. A parent and/or teacher should generally be careful not to be excessively forceful. There are several cases where Talmudic personalities praised their behavior of not being "makpid"(strict) in their home over their wives and children even though they lived a life filled with mitzvot.[11]

Sources

  1. Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 59) writes that Chinuch is a rabbinical Mitzvah, and quotes the Chaye Adam (66:1) who writes that this is a Mitzvah Midivrei Kabbalah (institution of the Nevi'im).
  2. Sefer Chinuch Yisrael (p. 61). See further in the Magen Avraham 343, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 343, Mishna Brurah 616:5, Aruch HaShulchan 343, and Pri Megadim E"A 225:5.
  3. Children in Halacha pg. 8
  4. "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>, שלחן ערוך א”ח רט”ו:ג as cited in Singer, Shmuel. "A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children Mitzvot." Google Books. Shmuel Singer, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <https://books.google.com/books?id=55NdTR7HfYAC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=age%2Bchildren%2Bberachot&source=bl&ots=zwGJnqECD_&sig=xSHlovDBimMjahI64ia2ltu_5ho&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHopOi39bKAhUBLyYKHRqADUEQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=age%20children%20berachot&f=false>.
  5. Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com writes that parents should ensure that children from the age of 6 say Birkat HaMazon.
  6. Mishnah Berurah (167:93) . See Chanoch L’Naar (14:4). As cited in "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>.
  7. "CHINUCH AGE." Ahavsalom (n.d.): n. pag. Dh.ahavasolam.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://dh.ahavasolam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/A-List-of-Chinuch-Ages.pdf>.
  8. The Gemara (Brachot 53b) says that one doesn’t say amen after the Bracha of a katan when he is just saying a Bracha as he is being taught the Brachot. The Rambam (Brachot 1:15) codifies as halacha. The Kesef Mishna there writes that it’s clearly implied that the teacher is permitted to say the Brachot with hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot and when the children repeat the Bracha after him, since the Bracha is only for Chinuch, one doesn’t answer amen. Shulchan Aruch 215:3 rules that if a child is saying a Bracha as he is learning from his teacher one doesn’t answer amen, but if a child says a Bracha in order to exempt himself from some obligation (meaning saying a Bracha when he is obligated to say it), then one should answer amen.
    • Mishna Brurah 215:14 writes that it is permitted for the teacher to say the Brachot with hashem’s name to teach the children how to say the Brachot. Although saying a Bracha for Chinuch is permitted, saying a Bracha as one is learning such as an adult who finds the text of a Bracha in the gemara as he is learning should not say the Bracha with hashem’s name as one is reading the gemara. However, Yalkut Yosef 215:15 writes that in order to teach a child how to say Brachot one may say them with Hashem’s name, however, once the child knows how to make a Bracha and he just needs help in saying the Bracha one should say it without ashem’s name.
  9. Rav Nevinsal (B'Yitzchak Ikara 550:1) comments that the minhag ashkenaz is for a boy to fast 3 times prior to his bar mitzvah, though he doesn't know the basis for this minhag.
  10. Rambam in his introduction to Perek HaChelek elaborates on how a child should be given sweets to encourage him to learn, as he gets older he should be given bigger prizes until eventually he will appreciate the value of the Torah itself and be motivated to learn it for no other reason,
  11. Gitin 7a