Template:Children Wearing Tefillin

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  1. A child who can be careful to keep his body clean and respect the holiness of Tefillin, should be taught to put on Tefillin prior to his 13th birthday.[1] The poskim differ on the exact amount of time [2], but the common Minhag for ashkenazim is that a boy under the age of 13 wears Tefillin only 2 or 3 months before his Bar Mitzvah.[3] Sepharadim typically begin a year or two before Bar Mitzva.[4]
    1. Rambam Hilchot Tefillin 4:13 and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 37:3, based on Sukkah 42a and Arachin 2b, write that when a child can treat his tefillin properly, his father should buy him a pair of Tefillin. It would seem to be addressing an under-bar-mitzvah-age boy, and this is indeed the understanding of the overwhelming majority of the early commentators. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 37:3) follows this opinion and rules that a minor who can follow the halachot of tefillin should be given a pair.
      Although the Rama Orach Chaim 37:3 cites the approach of the Baal Haitur that there is no chinuch when it comes to tefillin, and the gemara refers to a child at the age of 13 or above, the Mishna Berura 37:12 writes that the common practice nowadays is to begin wearing them 2 or 3 months earlier. The Bach OC 37 questions why the Rama would follow the approach of the Baal Haitur against the approach of the majority
      Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer OC 6:3 and Yechave Daat 2:4) writes that the practice among Sepharadim is certainly to begin putting them on at some point before the age of 13
    2. See Yechave Daat 2:4 for a variety of Minhagim. see also Ten Minute Halacha: How Long before Bar Mitzvah to Put on Tefillin and Chinuch for the Mitzva of Tefillin at greater length both by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, and Halachically Speaking Vol 13 Issue 2
    3. Magen Avraham 37:4, Shulchan Aruch Harav 37:3, Mishna Berura 37:12, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:24.
    4. Shu"t Yabia Omer OC 6:3, Shu"t Yechave Daat 2:4, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan pg. 40. see footnote there on pg. 44 where he writes that one should not allow a child to begin at the age of 9-10 because it is unlikely he will be able to treat them properly by keeping his body clean. Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 37:3) notes how there was a range of customs in Morocco regarding how early to start, most following the Shulchan Aruch.