Is a person who is learning Torah in another room required to disrupt his learning in order to join a group of nine men so that they can pray in a Minyan?

The person in question comes earlier in order to learn before his own Minyan, that has for sure more than ten people. And when the nine guys come to Barchu and see that one is missing - they call the person to sit in the room, where they pray, so they would have Minyan. Of course the person in question can learn better without guys praying around him. And the question is, can he deny the request or not.

  • 1
    I would seem that this is a Mitvza that cannot be done by others, for which learning is always interrupted.
    – Yishai
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 14:37
  • 1
    While I don't have the time to answer the question fully, there are many factors that directly affect the question: Did the person learning Daven already? Does he intend to Daven somewhere else? Is it possible for the 9 people to go to a different MInyan, or wait around for a 10th to show up? Is this group of 9 a 'set Minyan', or did they happen to just end up together and decide 'well, we're here, let's pray'? Commented May 28, 2014 at 16:14
  • @Daniel, is there a way the question could be reformulated to be clearer? I thought you were asking if there are certain requirements to join a minyan, like being a male, etc. Commented May 28, 2014 at 19:50
  • @Salmononius2 I tried to clarify the question, where I answered some of your questions. The rest is as follows - Second Minyan starts in a hour, so people usually won't wait for it, it also hard to wait for 10th guy. All Minyanim are regular.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


One source that is relevant to this issue is Rabbeinu Yonah haGerondi (13th c.) on the Rif, Berakhot 4a. There, he brings the opinion of the rabbonim of France that one need not leave one's place of learning in order to pray in a minyan:

פירשו רבני צרפת ז״ל שאפ׳ בלא עשרה היו עושין כן מפני שיותר נכון להתפלל יחידי במקום ששם קביעות התורה יומם ולילה מלהתפלל בבהכ״נ בצבור כדאמרינן אוהב הקב״ה שערים המצוינין בהלכה יותר מבתי כנסיות... אין צריך עשרה אלא למי שדרכו ללכת מביתו ללמד למקום אחר... אבל מי שלומד בביתו כל היום במקום קבוע ותורתו אמנותו אין לו ללכת לבית הכנסת אם לא ימצא עשרה מפני שנמצא מתבטל מלמודו בשעת הליכה

The rabbonim of France explained that even without ten men they [prayed in the beit midrash], since it is better to pray alone in a place designated for the study of Torah day and night than to pray in a synagogue in a congregation, as it says: "The Holy One, blessed is he, loves the gates of halakha more than the synagogues"... One only requires a minyan if it is one's custom to leave one's house [to pray] elsewhere... but one who learns in his home all day in a set place, whose learning is his occupation, needs not go to the synagogue if he is without a minyan, since he will waste time by walking there.

Note, however, that these rabbonim are speaking of one who is learning farther from the synagogue than you have described in your question, and that they focus on the obligation that the scholar has to himself, and not to a group of nine people who might require his participation. As such, I am aware that this is only a partial answer to your question, and I intend to update it, bli neder, as I find more information.


The Rambam in Hilchos Tefillah 9:1 seems to understand praying with a minyan as not so much of an obligation, but a good strategy:

תפילת הציבור, נשמעת תמיד; ואפילו היו בהן חטאים, אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מואס תפילתן של רבים. לפיכך צריך אדם לשתף עצמו עם הציבור, ולא יתפלל יחידי, כל זמן שיכול להתפלל בציבור. ולעולם ישכים אדם ויעריב לבית הכנסת, שאין תפילתו של אדם נשמעת בכל עת, אלא בבית הכנסת. וכל מי שיש לו בית הכנסת בעירו, ואינו נכנס לתוכה להתפלל--נקרא שכן רע

(paraphrased) The prayer of the community is always heard [by Hashem]. Therefore, a person needs* to join the congregation whenever he can. Prayer is not always heard unless you are praying with the congregation. Anyone who doesn't join the community to pray is a bad neighbor.

The Rambam does not describe it as an obligation or even a mitzvah. He couches it in terms of its beneficial effect.

I would conclude that according to the Rambam, one could not apply the principle of stopping learning to perform a mitzvah, as he will not be performing, or even facilitating, a mitzvah. You may be doing them a favor, but not a mitzvah.

This is not meant to be practical halacha, just a presentation of what I believe to be the opinion of the Rambam.

*That which the Rambam says you "need" to join the community for prayer is clear that it does not mean to imply an obligation, as the source of that line is actually a reference to that which one should say the Wayfarer's Prayer in plural, which is not even codified by the Rambam.

  • נקרא שכן רע means optional?
    – Yishai
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 19:15
  • @Yishai which mitzva would it be under? You are being inconsiderate. That doesn't create an obligation. Commented May 28, 2014 at 19:17
  • even being inconsiderate falls under the Mitzva of ואהבת לרעך כמוך. But how are you being inconsiderate? The Rambam doesn't seem to be limited to a case where they lack a large Minyan. Anyway, you could build a case that it is part of the Mitzvah of davening - daven in such a way that it will be best heard. But that is speculation on my part. Whatever the reason, it still seems more than an עצה טובה קמ"ל.
    – Yishai
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 19:25
  • @Yishai it would be interesting for the Rambam to couch the "obligation" in terms of its effects. But I think it is a reasonable understanding of the Rambam, and supported by the Tur who says "try your best" to daven with a minyan. Commented May 28, 2014 at 19:38

You must log in to answer this question.

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