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What is the benefit(s) of Praying with a Minyan? Besides for all the additional things you can now do with a Minyan (Kaddish, Kriah etc). By prayer, I mean the Shmoneh Esreh. What is different in saying Shemoneh Esreh alone or together with nine other men?

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From your comments on the answers, it looks as though your question wasn't worded quite the way you intended it. Perhaps ask a new question which better expresses what you're seeking? –  msh210 Sep 11 '12 at 15:19
    
Any suggestions on how to word it? The problem is some times people just respond with a source that is equally challenging to understand and doesn't clarify the matter. Unless they offer a further clarification of the source they are quoting. –  RCW Sep 12 '12 at 2:37
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My father always gives this Mashal: when someone buys apples from the market he carefully selcts each apple making sure it's good. However, when one goes to Costco or the like and buys 100 apples he'll just buy any box without checking. –  Hacham Gabriel Aug 25 '13 at 22:09

5 Answers 5

The Rambam writes (Tefillah 6:1)

תפלת הציבור נשמעת תמיד ואפילו היו בהן חוטאים אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מואס בתפלתן של רבים, לפיכך צריך אדם לשתף עצמו עם הציבור, ולא יתפלל ביחיד כל זמן שיכול להתפלל עם הציבור
The prayer of the community is always heard, even if there were sinners among them, for God refuses to reject the prayer of many. Therefore one should always combine himself with the community and not pray alone whenever he is able to pray with the community.

Additionally, the Gemara (Brachot 8a at the top) brings a number of drashot regarding prayer with the congregation, calling it an Eit Ratzon -- a time of Divine favor, and some other positive adjectives.

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Would this only be if they are praying for the same thing or would this be even if they pray for unique things? Why is it that the prayer of the Many is always heard? Furthermore, why is it that they are heard, but not necessarily answered? Sorry, just that Rambam seems to open up a few more questions... –  RCW Sep 11 '12 at 4:33

Some sources expressing the advantage of davening with a Minyan (I am making this a community wiki so anyone can add more sources):

  • Gemorah Berachos 8a: "Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of the Rashb"i: What is the meaning of the verse 'My prayer is to You Hashem at a favourable time'? When is it a favorable time? At the time the congregation prays . . R' Nassan said: From where do we know that the Holy One, Blessed is he does not despise the prayer of the congregation? It is written: 'Behold G-d does not despise the numerous.' It is written: "He redeemed my soul in peace from battles' - the Holy One Blessed is He said: 'Whoever engages in Torah and acts of kindness and prays with the congregation, I consider it as if he has redeemed me and my children from amongst the nations of the world."

  • Sanhedrin 39a: The Shechina rests on every assembly of ten Jews.

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I appreciate the sources. Thank you. I just hope we can explain what the idea that the source is trying to convey. –  RCW Sep 11 '12 at 4:59
    
How do you know the source in Sanhedrin is referring to praying with a Minyan? –  RCW Sep 13 '12 at 5:17
    
@RCW Even if it is not specifically referring to praying with a Minyan, the fact still remains that there is an assembly of ten Jews and thus the benefit of Shechina being present. –  Michoel Sep 13 '12 at 5:50
    
What is the benefit of Shechina being present? What is Shechina? –  RCW Sep 15 '12 at 1:15

Rosh HaShanah 18a:

"Who is like G-d who answers us whenever we call out to Him?" (Devarim 4:7). But isn't it written "Seek G-d [only] when He can be found" (Yeshayah 55:6)? This one is dealing when with a congregation; this one is dealing when alone.

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So what is the benefit? –  Michoel Sep 11 '12 at 3:52
    
@Michoel It is clear from this that praying with the congregation makes your prayers always answered, while when praying alone you are only answered (at that level) this time of year –  b a Sep 11 '12 at 4:38
    
@ba Can you explain why it is that when praying with a congregation it makes all your prayers answered? By the way the Rambam interprets that quote by the individual for his prayers to be accepted, not answered (See Teshuvah Chapter 2 Law 6) –  RCW Sep 11 '12 at 4:45
    
@RCW Are you questioning how I drew that from the gemara, or how the gemara knows that? (By thw way, I used "answered" loosely) –  b a Sep 11 '12 at 5:09
    
@ba Neither. I am accepting the inference. But can you explain what the idea is that the Gemara is trying to convey. What is it about prayer with a congregation that makes Hashem answer, but by an individual not so? –  RCW Sep 12 '12 at 2:41

I think it is better to pray as a minyan because you are judged while praying as a group, not as an individual. Sorry I don't have a source, this is something my orthodox Rabbi told me. If someone knows the source, please comment.

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when there's a minyan the shechina (divine presence) comes.

when alone, angels must bring the prayer up, and its more problematic, and less acceptable. (zohar)

also, every amen you say in a minyan/kedusha has big effects in the mystical worlds, and brings bracha to this world, and can only be said when the shechina comes to a minyan

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How does the fact that the shechina has come benefit one's personal aminda? –  Double AA Sep 12 '12 at 16:28
    
@DoubleAA My thoughts exactly! Good question. –  RCW Sep 12 '12 at 18:22
    
When the shechina (divine presence) comes, you should be more awareness of the holiness of the place, and this should make you feel: "know before Who you stand". like Yaakov said "had I known, I would not have slept in this place" –  ray Sep 13 '12 at 21:21
    
What does it mean that the Shechina is present? When we pray with a Minyan we don't see anything different? So, what do you mean by Shechinah? –  RCW Sep 20 '12 at 4:10

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