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In many communities there is a regular weekday morning Minyan and the "working-person's" Minyan, which technically Davens too early according to most opinions, but which is better than nothing, according to other opinions. But, again, many opinions hold that it is far better to Daven "at the right time" all alone than "too early" with a Minyan. This is how my Rav in Yeshivah Paskened.

In a slight twist, I'd like to ask the following: If someone will have a slight chance of Davening alone at the proper time (Zeman), should he forgo Davening with a Minyan that definitely Davens too early? What if the odds are stacked against him that he will likely miss the Zeman anyway and have to Daven late or do Tashlumin (make-up)?

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Aren't your two cases ("someone will have a slight chance of Davening (praying) alone in the right Zeman" and "he will likely miss the Zeman anyway and have to Daven late") identical? (Also, what's "anyway"?) –  msh210 Jan 19 '12 at 0:27
    
How early is too early? –  Double AA Jan 19 '12 at 2:13
    
@msh210 assume for the first one his chances are kinda reasonable but not altogether that likely. He'll need to sneak away from an important meeting or conference but he could do it if he's sitting in the back and the lights are dim. There's also a short break in the middle. Assume for the second case he's presenting at the meeting. There's still that break, but what if someone tries to chat with him? (These are realistic but not real life examples. I thought I should make that clear. For real situations CYLOR.) –  Seth J Jan 19 '12 at 2:55
    
@doubleaa For sure before Netz. –  Seth J Jan 19 '12 at 3:07
    
@SethJ Well you should know that your question doesn't even mention the fact that you are talking about shacharit. I think it's quite unclear. –  Double AA Jan 19 '12 at 3:09
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1 Answer

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The Terumat HaDeshen (Siman 35) discusses regarding kiddush levana, if it is better to wait to say it on Saturday night (its ideal time) or to say it right away (as we generally do not delay doing mitzvot because "zerizim makdimim"). He answers that if he is sure that he will be able to say kiddush levana on Saturday night he should wait. However if it is winter and there are only a few days left such that he can't know for sure that he will have another opportunity to say kiddush levana, then he should say it right away. In other words, we only push off a mitzva to perform it in a more optimal way if we are confident of being succesful; otherwise, it is not worth the risk.

So too here, if he is unsure of being able to daven until after zman (or even not at all!) than he should daven as soon as possible, even before sunrise (which is the less than ideal time).

(But note my earlier comment where I argue that davening before sunrise is not bedieved for someone who is rushing out somewhere which sounds exactly like your case. Also see this article and this shiur regarding early davening in general.)

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How about a refocus on the BeDi'avad status? Is there nobody who says that Tefillah "too early" is invalid at all? Does everyone agree that at least in a situation where he may not get a chance to Daven later, that this extra-early Minyan at least offers him the chance to Daven and not just a chance for Berachoth Levataloth? –  Seth J Feb 24 '12 at 19:49
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@SethJ Everyone agrees that tefilla after alot hashachar is kosher bedieved. For birkot keriat shema some say you have to wait until misheyakir. Assuming your minyan is holding of those times, it is not a beracha levatala lekulei alma. –  Double AA Feb 24 '12 at 19:51
    
@SethJ I edited some discussion in. Is this answering your intended question? –  Double AA Feb 26 '12 at 4:18
    
Yes, that's pretty good. –  Seth J Feb 26 '12 at 4:34
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