Conversion of Minors to Judaism
First we observe, that a person is not born a
Karaite Jew even if both his/her parents are native born Karaite
Jews. Such children are born Jewish but Karaite Judaism is not a
social club nor can it be genetically transmitted, rather it
requires an affirmative act on the part of the individual to pledge
to follow the biblical precepts of Tora handed down to us from
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and of course Moshe, our Teacher and the
prophets and holy writings that follow, collectively referred to as
the TaNaKh. Thus a child born of Karaite Jewish parents who elects
to follow any other variant of Judaism and who rejects setting the
calendar by observing the Aviv and the New Moon cannot be a Karaite
Jew despite the fact that his parents are Karaite Jews.
The process of transmission of Jewish values to children is one of
education in the broadest sense, so that what is transmitted is not
merely knowledge but beliefs and values attitudes and ideals, and
above all, a sense of identification and commitment The
responsibility for transmitting Judaism derives from Har Sinai when
our ancestors on behalf of themselves and their descendants pledged
their commitment to a covenant with God saying "We will do and
hear." (Exodus 24:7)
The transmission of Judaism is a task for each
successive generation of Jews.
78:2-7: I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter
dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and
our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their
children, showing to the generation to come the praises
of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works
that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers,
that they should make them known to their children: That the
generation to come might know them, even the children which
should be born; who should arise and declare them to their
children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget
the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not
be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a
generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was
not steadfast with God
While there is nothing wrong with the custom of
calling a child to the Torah at the age of 12 or 13, the rabbinic
practice of calling that child an adult and severing certain
responsibilities towards that child is not in accord with our Tora
that bestows adulthood at the age of 20 .
Therefore, it is the parent's obligation to teach their children the
ways of the Tora, and when they are twenty years old with the help
of our Creator, the child will make the right choices. For very
small male children it is advisable to circumcise them immediately
to avoid them having to make that decision later in life.
It is the practice of the Moetzet Hakhamim (the Council of Sages)
that Minors over the age of 10 and under the age of 18 must sign a
statement consenting to their conversion and that minors under the
age of 10 will be converted without a formal statement.
 Exd 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered,
from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto YHVH.
Lev 27:3 And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years
old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty
shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
Num 1:3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go
forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their
Num 1:18 And they assembled all the congregation
together on the first [day] of the second month, and they declared
their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers,
according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and
upward, by their polls.
Num 1:20 And the children of Reuben, Israel's eldest
son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of
their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls,
every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to
go forth to war;
Num 32:11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from
twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto
Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly
1Ch 27:23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years
old and under: because YHVH had said he would increase Israel
like to the stars of the heavens.
Ezr 3:8 Now in the
second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in
the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua
the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests
and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity
unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and
upward, to set forward the work of the house of YHVH.