Template:Children and Prayer

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  1. Once a child knows how to speak he should be taught to say the first pasuk of Shema. [1]
  2. A child of 6 or 7 should be taught to say the brachot of Kriyat Shema, Shema,[2] and Shmoneh Esrei. [3]
    1. If a child cannot pray the entire prayer, the order or priority is Shemoneh Esrei, Kriyat Shema, Birchot Hashachar, and then P'seukei D'zimra.[4]
    2. A child can eat before Shmoneh Esrei in the morning.[5]
  3. One should teach small children to answer Amen because once a child answers Amen, he has a place in Olam Haba. [6]
  4. There is a chinuch for a child to daven in a minyan but davening in a group of ten children isn't considered a minyan at all even for chinuch.[7]
  5. A child should not serve as the Chazan for a minyan, especially for Shacharit and Mincha.[8] Those who allow a child to lead the congregation for Arvit may have what to rely on,[9] but ideally one should not do so.[10]
  6. Regarding children performing Birkat Cohanim see Birkat Cohanim.
    1. Mishna Brurah 70:7 notes that this does not have to be said in the proper time of shema
    2. Mishna Brachot 20a says that children are exempt from reciting shema. Rashi explains that this refers to children that have reached the age of chinuch. Rabbenu Tam argues that this refers to children that have not reached the age of chinuch, but once they have reached the age of chinuch, they should be taught to say shema. Shulchan Aruch 70:2 quotes both opinions and says it is appropriate to be strict like Rabbenu Tam.
      M.B. 70:6 notes that this means one should train the child to recite shema at the proper time with all the brachot
    3. Tefillah KeHilchata 1:12-13. M.B. 106:5 says this means shachrit and mincha. Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 19) says that the custom is not to train children to daven mariv.
    4. Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen (Children in Halacha page 19) quotes Chinuch Yisroel page 77
    5. M.B. 106:5
    6. Rama 124:7
    7. Rav Soloveitchik (Nefesh Harav p. 113) explained that for chinuch it needs to be a halachically valid structure for the chinuch to be effective (based on Ritva Sukkah 2b).
      Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe O.C. 2:98) says that one must stop children if they are doing dvarim shebikdusha with a minyan of children as that is prohibited.
    8. Shu"t Yabea Omer 9:100:4, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinich Katan pg 61
    9. Shulchan Aruch 53:10, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinich Katan pg 61
    10. Mishna Brura 53:30