Oppression Laws relevant to children

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Oppression laws relevant to children:

The following laws will discuss if the laws of oppression relevant on Tisha B’av also apply to children. Although all commands apply to a child who has reached the age of education, nevertheless, in general we are lenient regarding commands that involve oppression, and never decree them upon children.[1] The following is the law regarding Tisha B’av:

Leather Shoes: One may not place leather shoes on a child even if he is below the age of education.[2] However, some Poskim[3] are lenient to allow all children below Bar and Bas Mitzvah to wear leather shoes. [The custom is like the former opinion.[4] However, some[5] write that children of a very young age, such as 2-3 years old, may be lenient.]

Bathing:[6] Children, even below Chinuch, are not to be bathed unless they are dirty.

Anointing:[7] Children, even below Chinuch, are not to be smeared with pleasure ointments, just as is the rule by an adult. [Medical creams however may be administered to a child, or even an adult, on Tisha B’av]

Learning Torah:[8] Children are also included within this learning prohibition and hence they are not to be taught Torah on Tisha B’av. [Some Poskim[9] rule that this includes even teaching them from the permitted texts discussing the tragedies. Others[10] however rule it is allowed to teach children these subjects, just as is the law regarding adults. It is forbidden for a child to learn even on his own if he is of age to receive joy from his learning.[11]]


[1] In chapter 616 these laws are presented regarding Yom Kippur. Vetzaruch Iyun if the stringencies there regarding bathing:anointing:leather shoes for children also apply on Tisha B’av being that its not considered an oppresion, as will be explained, or do they apply only on Yom Kippur, being that Yom Kippur is Biblical and is not due to mourning, while Tisha B’av is only Rabbinical and is due to mourning which the Sages did not decree onto children? The Chochmas Adam 152:17 rules that it does not apply to children even regarding leather shoes. However see Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:15 for Poskim that question this.

[2]  Admur 616:2 regarding Yom Kippur; Nitei Gavriel 74:3 and Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:14 that the same applies for Tisha B’av, based on M”A 551:38; Shaar Hatziyon 551:91

The reason: Being that for a child there is no oppression involved in the child not wearing leather shoes. Thus, it is forbidden for an adult to place it on him, just like its forbidden for an adult to feed a child non kosher food, irrelevant of the child’s age. [Admur ibid]

[3] Chochmas Adam 152:17; Zera Emes 3:616

[4] Piskeiy Teshuvos 554:15

[5] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[6] See Admur 616:3-4 regarding Yom Kippur

[7] See Admur 616:3-4 regarding Yom Kippur

[8] Michaber ibid

[9] M”A 554:2 learns that the prohibition is on the children to learn since it gives them joy to learn to read. Accordingly, one may not learn with them even subjects pertaining to T.B. [M”B 554:2]

[10] Taz 554:1 brought in M”B ibid

[11] P”M 554 M”Z 1

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