Obligation of children

Are children obligated in Havdala?[1]

A child who has reached the age of understanding the concept of Shabbos is obligated to hear Havdala. [This is at approximately 5-6 years old.[2]]

Repeating Havdala for a child:[3] One may repeat Havdala to fulfill the obligation of [male[4]] children[5] [that have reached the age of education[6] and do not know to say Havdala themselves[7]]. [One also the blessings of Besamim[8] and Meorei Haeish on their behalf.[9]] Based on this even if one heard Havdala in Shul he may still say Havdala for his younger [male] children upon his return home.

Hearing Havdala from a child?[10] An adult is not Yotzei if he hears Havdala from a child under Bar Mitzvah. Other children however do fulfill their obligation. Furthermore even if the child is Bar Mitzvah, if he does not yet have a beard, one may not be Yotzei with him unless one knows for certain that the child has already grown two pubic hairs.                 


Q&A

If the child did not hear Havdala on Motzei Shabbos is he to hear Havdala on Sunday?

Yes. The child should make Havdala without the blessing of Besamim or Haeish.[11] However some Poskim[12] argue that there is no need to a child to make up Havdala the next day.

 

If the children will be sleeping by the time Havdala is said what is one to do?

Some[13] write that in such a case one may be lenient to have them say Havdala after Plag Hamincha on Shabbos.

 

If a boy turned Bar Mitzvah on Motzei Shabbos may he say Havdala for others that Motzei Shabbos?[14]

It is best to not have others be Yotzei with his Havdala.[15]

 

May children eat prior to Havdala?[16]

Yes. It is forbidden to refrain them from eating if they need to eat.


[1] 343/3

[2] SSH”K 58/19

[3] 296/17

[4] See the previous Halacha

[5] This applies even if they are not members of his family, and their obligation of education is hence not upon him. [167/23; See Kitzur Halachos Shabbos p. 114]

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan 96/5

[7] 269/3; Kitzur Halachos 296 footnote 32

[8] One is not required to smell the Besamim when repeating it for children which have reached the age of Chinuch as explained in 297/7 regarding one who cannot smell.

[9] Ketzos Hashulchan 99/7; Kitzur Halachos 298/16 based on 178/23 and 297/7 that one say all the blessings of Birchas Hanehnin for a child in order to educate them in Mitzvos. Seemingly the same would apply here, even though it is viewed as Birchas Hamitzvos and not Birchas Hanehnin.

[10] Based on Admur 271/7; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 296/19-20 regarding women being Yotzei with children.

[11] SSH”K 58/20

[12] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 296 footnote 182

[13] Piskeiy Teshuvos 296/19

[14] Piskeiy Teshuvos 196/19 based on Ketzos Hashulchan 96 footnote 12

[15] As it is questionable whether he is fully obligated in Havdala being that on Shabbos he was not yet Bar Mitzvah and was thus not yet obligated to keep Shabbos. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[16] 269/3 regarding Kiddush

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?