Thursday, March 03, 2011

too young to lein parshas shekalim?

My son is supposed to lein this Shabbos. Last night I pointed out to him that R’ Tzvi Pesach Frank in Mikraei Kodesh (actually, it’s in the notes, which I believe were written by RTPF’s grandson) has a safeik whether he can lein parshas shekalim. Only those over 20 years old were obligated in the mitzvah of machatzis hashekel. The Rama therefore writes that the minhag of giving coins as a zecher to machtzis ha’shekel is practiced only by those over 20. (There are Rishonim who hold that the shekalim collected in the midbar were an exception to the rule; the mitzvah applied for future generation to all those over bar mitzvah. The Rama clearly does not side with this view, but other Achronim do). By the same token, perhaps the parsha of shekalim should be read only by someone over 20. Yesh l’chaleik, but something to think about.


  1. Anonymous3:27 AM

    maybe your son shouldn't daven musssaf, as the korban kussaf was bought with the shekalim, which those under 20 are pattur from?

  2. Anonymous8:04 AM

    agreed. musaf much more of a problem. RHS doesn't allow under 20 to daven musaf

  3. >>>RHS doesn't allow under 20 to daven musaf

    You mean as shat"z, right? A katan can donate a machtzis hashekel (I think we once discussed this ---, so there should be no problem of his choosing voluntarily to daven musaf. Musaf would actually be more problematic than the keriya, because it's not so clear (at least to me) that the ba'al koreh has to have in mind to be motzi the tzibur in the keriya. It's a chiyuv to hear kri'as haTorah, not to be yotzei via shome'a k'oneh -- you need some way to be mechaleik between 4 parshiyos and other keriyos, or some other sevara. RTPF discusses this as well much more b'arichus.

  4. >>>RHS doesn't allow under 20 to daven musaf

    Do you anyone else who holds this way l'ma'aseh? In his discussion of whether women have to daven musaf, Halichos Beisa quotes Shu"t Beis Yitzchak as arguing that of course they do, because if women are exempt, then kohanim and those under 20 are also exempt, which just can't be -- reductio ad absurdum. I guess one person's reduction ad absurdum is another person's normal, but it's strange.