Template:Children Wearing Tefillin
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- 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. The poskim differ on the exact amount of time , 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. Sepharadim typically begin a year or two before Bar Mitzva.
- 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
- 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
- Magen Avraham 37:4, Shulchan Aruch Harav 37:3, Mishna Berura 37:12, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:24.
- 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.