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How does something become a Davar Shebakedusha? What is the criteria?

This question was inspired by the discussion over here. People half-standing for אלקינו in zimun

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Relevant hearsay from R' Chaim Soloveitchik: elomdus.blogspot.com/2007/12/zimun-of-10-people.html –  jake May 23 '11 at 23:30
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Perhaps someone can answer directly. Otherwise, this might help: Gather a list of things that are and a list of things that are not d'varim shebikdusha and see whether a rule can be figured out from the examples. I'm marking this answer "community wiki" so additions to it will be easier.

D'varim shebikdusha:

  • kadish (MB 55:2, from Mgila 23:2)
  • k'dusha (ditto)
  • bar'chu (ditto)
  • Torah-reading (ditto)
  • n'si'as kapayim of the kohanim (ditto)
  • chazaras hashatz (N.B.: MB 55:5 says it's considered such because it has k'dusha in it.)

Not:

  • Anything that we know does not require a minyan. (This is because any davar shebikdusha ipso facto requires a minyan.)

Halachic Dispute:

  • shlosh `esrei middot (the 13 Divine attributes): The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 565:5) says that they are d'varim shebikdusha. The source is the Rashba (Responsa 1:211), but in the printed editions, he says that they are like d'varim shebikdusha. The Tur says that they are not.
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Anyone have the book מועדי הרב (by שלמה זאב פיק, published ca. 2003)? Pages 55–56 supposedly have some information on this. –  msh210 May 25 '11 at 16:19
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A davar shebekdusha (lit. thing done in holiness) is any ritual that requires a minyan to be done. It is called this because the Talmud (Megillah 23b) derives the requirement of a quorum of 10 for a 'minyan' from the verse (Leveticus 22:32) "Venikdashtim betoch benei yisrael" "And I will be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel". Venikdashti comes from the root of kedusha - holiness.

The mishna there gives these examples of things that require a minyan:

Other things may require a minyan too such as reciting the 13 attributes of mercy or reading the Megillah.

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