Israel is currently (March 20th, 2020) under lockdown, shuls are closed, and most people will not pray in a minyan or hear the Torah read. I've seen recent psakim about shutting down shuls, but are any poskim recommending ways to observe at home, from kabbalat shabbat until motzei shabbat?

For example, should individuals read the parasha and haftara aloud after shacharit? What tefillot should not be said? Some of this might be obvious (e.g., eliminating parts requiring a minyan), but it would be helpful if people had clear directions.

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    Just curious - have you never been sick on Shabbat before? I mean obviously I don't like it, but this is far from the first time I'm davening at home on Shabbat. COVID is unprecedented because it's affecting the whole world for a long time. I didn't think this particular question is unique to the current situation.
    – Heshy
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 13:58
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    @Heshy I've prayed plenty of times at home on Shabbat. But I'm unfamiliar with halakhic literature that specifically addresses the impossibility of a minyan and presents guidelines that would be helpful for many who would like a sense of order during these strange times.
    – Aryeh
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


See here for a transcription of Rav Heinemann's shiur yesterday on the relevant topics.

Laining - One is not יוצא when he lains from a חומש. However, there is an ענין to have a זכר of laining and read from a חומש. This applies to the הפטרה as well. It does not hurt to read פרשת החדש as well. We find that they lained הפטרה when they could not lain from the תורה. If he has a ספר תורה in his house and knows how to lain, then he should lain. One can be יוצא saying שנים מקרא with that laining. Do not bring a ספר תורה if you do not already have one as it is not a כבוד to bring it for such purpose. If one has a ספר תורה in his house and does not have the right כבוד, the effects can be devastating. Will we make up what was missed? We find some who made up when they missed. (See רמ"א in סי' ק"ל) Rav Heinemann plans to lain all the פרשיות which were missed when we reconvene. כהן will have a very long עלייה.

Parts of davening not said - One does not say the first two יקום פורקן when not davening with a מנין.This is because it is ארמית and מלאכים consider ארמית to be an aberration of לשון הקודש and won’t take up such a תפילה. Only with a מנין where we do not need מלאכים to bring up the Tefillos do we say them. We do say ויכולו even without a מנין. Even though the מנהג is to say it with another person or even the ציבור there are many פוסקים who have difficulty understanding why he should not just say it by himself. Their question is, we פסקן like רבי נחוניא בן הקנה that בית דין will listen to each עד separately. Even though we generally try to say ויכולו with someone, we certainly say it even by ourselves. We do not say מגן אבות when not in Shul. One does say והוא רחום before מעריב during the week. It is not necessary to say the יהי רצוןs after laining when he did not lain. These בקשות are said because there is a זכות after the מצוה of laining. (We have the same concept of saying בקשות after the מצוה of ברכת המזון or after the מצוה of הדלקת נרות.) One should say ברכת החדש, but does not need to know when the מולד is. He should find out ahead of time what day ראש חודש is.

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