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Chapter 140:3
The Four Special Torah Readings

3. There are certain authorities who rule that the obligation to read "Parashas Zachor" and "Parashas Porah" stems from the Torah itself ("De'oraisa") (1). Accordingly, a child (under 13 years old) should not be called up [to read these Parashas for the congregation] (2). Similarly, people living in outlying villages where there is no "Minyan" (ten adult males) should go to a place [where they can hear these readings] with a "Minyan." If this is impossible, at the very least, they should read these passages with the proper cantillation notes.


(1) Most later authorities rule that the reading of "Parashas Porah" is a rabbinical mitzvah, not a Biblical one (Mishna Berura 685:15).

(2) Since these readings are Biblical obligations, the reader must be Biblically obligated himself so that the congregation can fulfill their obligation through him. This cannot be achieved by a child under 13 years old, because he is not Biblically obligated to perform the commandments.


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