My Son is a Lefty
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- This topic has 50 replies, 39 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 2 months ago by Lo Yitzloch.
January 24, 2011 7:28 pm at 7:28 pm #594444
My son is growing up, is in school and is learning how to read and write. It is quite obvious to us that he is a lefty. I was just looking for advice or tips from anyone else who has gone through this. I myself am a dominant righty, who rarely uses my left hand.
Note, I’m not asking for tips how to get him to become a righty, I’m not like that. I just wanted to know from those who have already gone through this with their kids. (Especially curious how to teach t’fillin, but I have a few years to go in that department).
ThanksJanuary 24, 2011 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #732317real-briskerMember
Whats the big deal?January 24, 2011 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #732318jewish sourceParticipant
whats wrong with being lefty we are smarter then you rightyJanuary 24, 2011 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #732319not IMember
BTW they say that lefties are very smart.
As wewll I know very talented lefties..
Alot of times you could work it out when you hear a persons talents..
My family is half lefties and half righties!January 24, 2011 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #732320klachMember
G-D made him a lefty for a reasonJanuary 24, 2011 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #732321☕️coffee addictParticipant
here are 2 gedolim that were lefties (there are a lot more) The Chafetz Chaim, and the SteiplerJanuary 24, 2011 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #732322yossi z.Member
Jaymatt19: there are seforim that deal with this or you could learn halacha (kitzur shulchan aruch, mishnah berurah, etc) and work out for yourself which situations require the right hand regardless
Real-brisker: some times when halacha mentions using the right hand it only means the dominant hand not necessarily the actual right hand and it can be confusing (there are quite a few “switcharoos” in my family)January 24, 2011 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #732323
Nothing is wrong with being a lefty. It is just that he tries to model the behaviors of my wife and I. Yet he needs to do the opposite.
He does not fully grasp “Mommy does it this way, you need to do it this way”. He wants to copy his parents and what he sees others doing (e.g. eating at the Shabbos Table).
It sounds kinda hypocritical to him. Therefore I seek the advice of others who have kids older than I, who have gone through this already.January 24, 2011 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #732324always hereParticipant
I’m a lefty & 3 of my 4 children are lefties, including 2 sons. for my older son,when he was younger, my husband used to blame me saying I handed him things dafka to his left hand. obviously nonsense, but he was worried about tefillin.
since it’s been a long time & I’ve forgotten, I just asked my husband what we did for them to learn how to put on tefillin. my husband said that the Skulener Rebba, shlita, taught my older son; my younger son’s rebbe in yeshiva taught him.
there were no problems, B’H .. don’t worry.January 24, 2011 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #732325TheGoqParticipant
this really bugs me, i am a lefty this does not make me weird strange or unusual its not a handicap stop being so melodramaticJanuary 24, 2011 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #732326dvorakMember
I’m left-handed. While I can’t tell you anything about tefillin (I’m female), I can tell you a bit about being a lefty. It can be inconvenient at times, but other than that, it’s nothing, you just learn to deal. There are stores (you can google them) that sell lefty products such as scissors or can openers, and you can buy those kinds of things for your son if you feel they may be helpful. Personally, I like that I can get out of having to do anything artsy because I can’t cut straight 🙂 Also, if your son plays any sports, lefty-ness can be to his advantage. In any event, don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s just a fact of life.January 24, 2011 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #732327yossi z.Member
as jaymatt pointed out, this isn’t an issue with lefties, it is a difficulty in helping the kid understand that he can’t do things exactly as his parents do itJanuary 24, 2011 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #732328LBKParticipant
There is a potential issue for kohanim, as lefties could not serve in the bais hamikdoshJanuary 24, 2011 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #732329twistedParticipant
My reading (extensive) turned up that what was once 10% of the population is moving closer to 15%. Also be aware (for your child) that left handed is often right brain dominant, more imaginative, image oriented, creative, than strait line analytical. Been there done that, being lefty, four out of the six kids lefty, and quite a bit of ambi among all. Tefillin is just opposite/normal, lulav is a machlokes, and kiddush preferably with the right hand. My take is that most children terrorized by scissors that don’t work, will accommodate to some right hand use as they grow, and some will eventually put on tefillin on both hands (not at the same time)
EDITEDJanuary 24, 2011 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #732330AinOhdMilvadoParticipant
I am a lefty (when it comes to writing and using a fork), and regarding tefillin I was told by my Rav (way back when) there are 3 factors…
1) In general putting tefillin on the left hand is, as a general rule, the preferred way.
2) You put Tefillin on the weaker hand.
3) You put tefillin on the hand you do NOT write with.
In my case since #1 and #2 apply, i.e. according to 2 out of the 3 determining factors I should wear on the left hand, I do wear tefillin on the left hand (the way righties do).January 24, 2011 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #732332twistedParticipant
AinOd, do you write with both hands? I had a sh’ela once, that as my hammering hand was getting wrist tendonitis, I started using my right more, I was mesupak whether to switch or do both. Tendonitis on the right answered the ? for me.January 24, 2011 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #732333twiggyMember
im left handed. i think its cool!! happens to be all my best friends throughout schools and seminary were also left handed.(about 4) i guesss its a certain similarity that runs through lefties… that make them like eaxch other. correct me if im wrongJanuary 24, 2011 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #732334charliehallParticipant
In 1992, all three Presidential candidates were lefties: Bush, Clinton, and Perot.
In 2008, both Obama and McCain were lefties.
Presidents Hoover and Ford were lefties. Truman was ambidextrous. Reagan may have been a natural lefty but back then, children were often forced to act right handed. Bob Dole may have originally been right handed but he lost the use of his right arm in WW2 and had to learn how to do everything with this left hand.
Most importantly, my father o”h was a leftie.
Clearly, there is nothing wrong with being left-handed.January 24, 2011 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #732335
Wow! I never thought I’d hear of this as being an issue; and it only will be if you make it into one. Being the only lefty in my family, I felt different in a special way. I don’t remember it ever being a problem in anything I’ve ever done. I don’t recall ever having any obstacles whatsoever. Whether it was feeling different around other people, using any tools or utensils or anything for that matter. I’m as left handed as they come and I wear my tefillin on the right hand (knot on shel yad is on the opposite side) The only question will be, as he approaches his bar mitzvah, how fully left handed he is. If he does even one major activity right handed, ask a shaila which hand to put tefillin on. Seeing his “Mommy” using a fork with her right hand shouldn’t effect him. Make him feel special.January 24, 2011 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #732336
Btw JayMatt19, your son is already showing the signs of a lefty by being a smart and attentive kid. As smart and inquisitive as all my kids are, I don’t think they ever asked me why I use my left hand. Nor did they attempt or want to copy me.January 24, 2011 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #732337always hereParticipant
yes, I’m surprised that the child would really notice what utensil his parent is using, but tefillin should not be an issue. the only time I’m still in doubt is when it comes to luluv holding.January 24, 2011 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #732338Boro Park GirlMember
both me and my sister are lefties and now my sister in law is too!!
Must be a girl thing in my house!!January 24, 2011 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #732339
We have two sons that are lefties. I wish you the Nachas we have from them. Even when one of them lost their tefillin(which were later found), there was a tefillin gemach for lefties to help out!
Hashem should help you that this should be your worst worry!January 24, 2011 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #732340mewhoParticipant
lefties manage quite well nowadays.
as the mother of a lefty and a righty i have never seen the lefty have a hard time with doing anything b/c of him being a lefty.
only thing was having someone teach him to put on his tefillin and for lefty girls, i think you might need a lefty to teach you how to crochet.
otherwise, all is good b”h!January 24, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #732341
Lefties don’t need to be taught how to put on tefillin anymore than a righty who has never done it either. There was no special training for anything. It all comes natural.January 24, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #732342full_of_rageMember
I am a lefty and never had any problems. If your son isn’t zoche to a life of torah teach him a curve ball, left handed pitchers always get paid more!!!
here is a cute link for left handed products:
http://recycledobjects.com/only%20lefties/onlylefties%20home.htmJanuary 25, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am #732343oomisParticipant
OY vey, it’s not like he has a disability, chalilah. My daughter is a lefty. All my kids started out that way (as did I), but were able to easily and successfully be “righted.” My one child who would not change, was so stubborn about it that I didn’t want to mucher her. I saw it was really a strong predisposition. She is artistic, and very creative in other areas, as well.January 25, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am #732344cookie7Member
‘Lefties are in their ‘right mind’. generally more talented,creative and artistic.January 25, 2011 1:12 am at 1:12 am #732345deiyezoogerMember
whatever you got is good their should be no diff. be happy with what you have.i guess only boys and the tefillin.January 25, 2011 1:31 am at 1:31 am #732346HealthParticipant
My father is a lefty, skipped me and my oldest son is a lefty.January 25, 2011 2:04 am at 2:04 am #732347TheGoqParticipant
oomis shame on you for trying to make your children different than how hashem created them, u say its not a disability but u changed most of your kids, why? so they would seem more normal? if this is true it is absolutly disgustingJanuary 25, 2011 2:17 am at 2:17 am #732348mchemtobMember
i noticed that my left handed students are more comfy using spiral or composition notebook and i make allowances for them even though the course requires a looseleaf. the kids over the years had said the the looseleaf rings hurt them while taking notes.January 25, 2011 2:37 am at 2:37 am #732349commonsenseParticipant
I am excited about this topic because I have questions. My son is a lefty, We are kohanim. He is not a lefty for everything, he writes with his left hand, but he throws with his right. I think for fine motor skills he uses his left but for gross motor skills he uses his right, he is still pretty little so it hasn’t been an issue about tefillin yet, I’m curious though what the answer will be. Any ideas? btw, i have no issues whatsoever with the fact that he is left handed, I know a number of lefties and they are all super acheivers. My problem is that we are kohanim and being a lefty is considered a mum.(as far as I know)January 25, 2011 3:13 am at 3:13 am #732350anonymrsParticipant
there is a pamphlet called (i think) yad eliezer by (again, i think) r’ pesach krohn about the halachos involved in being a lefty. some things are different- washing, getting dressed/ putting on shoes, tefilin, to name a few.
i think it was written because his son (for whom it is named) is a lefty, so while learning the halachos he compiled them all into one neat little place.
im not sure why so many people are getting bent out of shape- jaymatt didnt ask anything about changing his child, or mention that he views it negatively in any way.
for those of us who are left-handed, there are some things that are harder, and i think that is what jaymatt was asking about. for me, when i started driving i used to turn the car on and put it into gear with my left hand. it was uncomfortable, but after trying it with my right hand a few times i decided that doing it backwards was more comfortable. i also couldnt unlock the front door with my right hand till i was about 17 or 18.
as someone mentioned, it is considered a moom, and a kohen or levi may not serve in the bais hamikdosh. at least that is what my husband explained to me when he saw me washing my oldest son left hand first- not because i wanted him to be a lefty, but because that was more comfortable to me. now i am so used to doing it right handed for my kids that i often do it backwards for myself 🙂January 25, 2011 4:09 am at 4:09 am #732351arcParticipant
does anyone read the original request? he has no issue with the fact that the kids a lefty.January 25, 2011 4:46 am at 4:46 am #732352The Queen of PersiaMember
My son is a lefty. The only problem he ever had was trying to play the violin. All of them are made for righties (with the chin piece on the left). So instead he learned the clarinet. That should be the worst. His safrus is amazingly gorgeous.January 25, 2011 5:19 am at 5:19 am #732353chayav inish livisumayParticipant
Wow we got a few new posters here.
WelcomeJanuary 25, 2011 5:47 am at 5:47 am #732354netazarParticipant
JayMatt19, I have a couple of tips: The lefty scissors make it easier to cut, they’re worth buying when he starts using scissors. If you’re not sure what hand he will be most comfortable catching with when playing baseball, try out both kinds of mitts before buying. And if there is any question about which hand he should lay tefillin on, ask a shailah early. There are people who are lefties for some things and righties for other things.January 25, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm #732355
Thanks for all those who read my original post and answered my question.
Thanks for all the advice. Thanks to those who offered chizuk (Though I did not think i really needed it)
I feel sorry for all of you who read the title and decided it was in your best interest to give me mussar.January 25, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #732356haifagirlParticipant
I feel sorry for all of you who read the title and decided it was in your best interest to give me mussar.
You should feel sorry for them. Judging by their spelling and grammar, communication is quite difficult for them.January 25, 2011 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #732357ItcheSrulikMember
Not sure any of this will be helpful, but here goes.
I’m a lefty and my father, a righty, taught me how to put on tefillin. I put them on just fine.
I learned to use a righty can opener with no trouble.
With scissors, I always got the kind with big handles. If you turn them upside down they work just fine in the left hand. (Hence the big handles, so the fingers fit in the hole made for a thumb.)
Most kids learn silverware through imitation but I don’t remember how I did it. I’ll ask my two right-handed parents and get back to you.
Re it being a mum: I couldn’t find that in Mishnah, Gemara, or RaMBaM. In adddition, many people will tell you that your son cannot be a sofer based on a misreading of a Rema in hilchos tefilin which says that if someone wrote with their non-dominant hand, the tefilin are pasul. That means a lefty can be a sofer as long as he does not write with his right hand.January 25, 2011 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #732359mewhoParticipant
btw when writing hebrew lefties dont smudge the page like righties do.January 25, 2011 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #732360ronrsrMember
When I was a wee child, I started to write with my left hand. My parents thought I was a lefty. I was actually mixed-handed, throwing and grabbing primarily with my right-hand. I wrote lefty.
My father bought me a left-handed baseball glove, which stunted my baseball development and is likely the only reason that I am not now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Make sure your child is a genuine all-around lefty.January 26, 2011 4:06 am at 4:06 am #732361
JayMatt19; I’m a lefty (sort of.). I Do write with my right hand, and , consequently put Tefillin on my Left hand. Which made my father A”H happy. (Sparing the embarrassment of his son putting Tefillin on the right hand.). A hammer, scissors or a knife in my right hand are like hanging them on a lamppost. I have zero control. A pen, a screwdriver and a saw are better controlled in my right hand. A spoon or fork, I can handle with both, right and left hand. Even though, I prefer using the left. The only serious consequence of my leftiness was in summer camp where I bumped into the guy sitting next to me. The solution was, to sit me at the (left) end of the table.
If we want to do Scientific research we could inquire why in my family it skips a generation. My Grandfather was a Lefty. My Father was not. My children are not. Some of my grandchildren are. Each of my (married) children have one child who is left handed.January 26, 2011 4:41 am at 4:41 am #732362HealthParticipant
Metrodriver -There must be something to this skipping. Check my post above.January 26, 2011 5:21 am at 5:21 am #732363Josh31Participant
When I saw the post title I thought of Democratic Underground, Huffington Post and Move On.
Phew, it is only left handedness!!!January 26, 2011 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #732364
Health; Yea. We can open a Genetic/Generic/Genealogic/Geriatric gerontologic research lab, give it a fancy name and apply for a grant from the US Gov’t. Seriously. This aspect of Left-Handedness would make great research material for Genetic researchers.January 26, 2011 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #732365BobchkaParticipant
Was at a bar mitzvah recently of a boy who is ambidextrous.In the boys peshetel he was thanking his sister for helping him clarify the Halacha on which hand to put on Tefillin. The Rov when consulted, as to which hand he should put his Tefillin on, asked him with which hand he hit his sister!! Seems he is a lefty!!January 26, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #732366Pashuteh YidMember
Ronrsr, I am sorry you didn’t get into the hall. There is some space near my plaque, though, in case they change their mind.January 27, 2011 2:52 am at 2:52 am #732367
Bobchka (Babichka); In my position as a Yeshiva (School) Bus Driver, I have a “Meshigaas”/habit of asking (Whenever the opportunity arises) the brother if he fights with his sister. The boy invariably answers “NO”. The girl, without fail, answers “Yes”.
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