It is a widespread custom to lead the prayers (daven from the amud) on the anniversary of a parent’s death (yahrzeit).

Suppose that if I do this for a service on the yahrzeit of a parent it will definitely cause me to miss a regular shiur (Torah class) which I attend; but that I can attend the shiur and also daven as part of a minyan and say kaddish.

I assume that the shiur takes precedence.

Are there sources to support (or correct) my view?

  • 2
    This practice of being Shaliah Sibur is to bring Zechuyot to the deceased...Talmud Torah Keneged Kulam is much more Zechuyot than being Shaliah Sibur, so N"L Pashut that you should attend the Shiur (based on what I heard from HaRav Musafi Shelit"a). Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:03
  • Avrohom Yitzchok, please see my recent edit to the question and edit again in case I misinterpreted your intent.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 16:00
  • @msh210 You interpreted very well. Thank you. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 21:50

3 Answers 3


I asked this question just this week to HaRav Zundel Kroizer. I asked if I could fly to EY knowing I would miss minyanim and kadeshim during the flight, but improve my learning here. He said the zchus of learning was far greater.

  • 2
    irwin, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for sharing the advice you got with the community! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 12:37

Birke Yosef (OC 284) holds that when two people have otherwise equal obligation/right to an aliya to the Torah, but one is a talmid chacham, then the other gets the aliya. One of his arguments is that a talmid chacham can study in the merit of the deceased, whereas the other fellow has no merit comparable to an aliya.

Nit'e Gavriel (Avelus volume 2, chapter 74 ("Priority in [Leading] Prayer and Aliyos"), section 8) implies that Birke Yosef's rule applies also to leading the services: when a talmid chacham and another have equal obligation to lead the services, the non-talmid chacham does so, and for the reason outlined above.

Now, the Birke Yosef's view is not commonly accepted, as far as I can tell: Nit'e Gavriel himself lists it only as an alternate view (though he does imply some practice that way), and it's not cited anywhere else that I checked. Nonetheless:

From the Nit'e Gavriel's expansion (to leading the prayers) of the Birke Yosef it seems that studying Torah is, at the very least, as great a merit for the deceased as leading the services. (Otherwise, it seems unfair to prioritize the non-talmid chacham.) (One could argue that it's even greater, but that argument is weak.) So it seems according to this that there is no reason to miss a Torah class in order to lead the services.

Obviously, consult your rabbi for any practical ruling.


Tur Orach Chaim 90 says that that learning can always be done later, however Tefila b'Tzibur can not and therefore Tefila B'Tzibur is first.

ומיהו א"א ז"ל כתב בתשובת שאלה, וז"ל: טוב להתפלל עם הצבור בעשרה כי זמן תפלה לחוד וזמן תורה לחוד, וגם אין תורתנו כל כך אומנתנו ובהרבה שעות ביום אנו מתבטלין, נבטל תורתינו בשעת תפלה ונשלם אותה בשעות אחרות ונצא ידי חובותינו בתורה ובתפלה

Per Rabbi Dov Lior Shlita a Mitzva whose time will pass is prior to Talmud Torah.

שאלה: אני משתתף בשיעור דף יומי קבוע בבוקר, ולפעמים אני קם מאוחר ויש לי אפשרות או להתפלל במנין או להתפלל ביחיד וללמוד בשיעור. מה עדיף?‏

תשובה: תשובת הרב דב ליאור: עדיפה תפילה במנין, מפני שכל מצוה שזמנה עובר קודמת לתלמוד תורה.‏

  • I don't understand. Isn't his daf yomi shiur going to pass also?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:46
  • But the Keviat Ittim as well as likely the quality of the learning is lost forever, whereas Tefillah BeTzibbur is a mitzva that one can be patur from under certain circumstances (ie 18 minutes away) so it has by nature a lower chiyuv.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:49
  • 2
    In the question, in both cases there is Tefillah BeTzibbur. The question is about davenning from the amud. Expressed otherwise, is (davenning from the amud) greater than (davenning but not for the amud) + (attendance at shiur)? Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 21:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .