Template:Tallit Katan for Children

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  1. One should buy a talit katan for a child who has reached the age of chinuch.[1]
  2. There are a variety of opinions for the age of chinuch for talit katan
    1. Some say the age of three.[2]
    2. Some say it is six or seven.[3]
    3. Others says that it is nine.[4]
  3. Regarding the size, it is proper to get the child a shirt that will cover his head and most of his body, subject to the actual size of that individual child. [5]If it is big enough, the child should be taught to say the beracha. If not, he can wear it without a beracha.[6]
    1. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 17:3 based on Sukkah 42a, Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9. The Rama there writes, based on Haghot Maimoniyot (Hilchot Tzitzit Perek 3) that the idea is that once a child knows how to properly wear the Tzitzit so that two strings are behind him and two in front.
      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.
      see Children and Kedusha of Tzitzis by Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky
    2. Shaare Teshuva 17:2, Aruch HaShulchan 17:5, Kitzur Shela (cited in Shu"t Lev Chaim 1:101)
    3. Bach 16 s.v. umah shekasiv rabbaynu, Shu"t Yechave Daat 4:2, Yalkut Yosef Dinei Chinuch Katan pg. 29, Shu"T Lev Chaim 1:101
      Shu"t Ohr Letzion 2:2:7 (pg. 30) says that the age is around 5
    4. Magen Avraham 16:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano 9:2. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe Y.D. 3:52:2) says that for a child above the age of nine, one should be sure that the talit katan is the proper size
    5. Mishna Berura 17:9 based on Pri Megadim in Siman 16, and Derech Hachaim.
      Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe Y.D. 3:52:2) says that for a child above the age of nine, one should be sure that the talit katan is the proper size. see there where he gives a rationale for those who are not strict to get a garment that is big enough for the child and ties it to a more general disagreement about whether the mitzva of chinuch for mitzvot requires that we teach the child to perform the mitzva fully
    6. Mishna Berura 17:9 based on Pri Megadim in Siman 16 and Derech Hachaim, Shu"t Shevet Halevi 3:6 see Halichot Shlomo pg. 26 in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who says that you do not need to rebuke those who allow their children to recite a beracha on a garment that isn't the requisite size