Can a minyan be made up of people who are unable (eg through lack of education) to respond to the prayers said?

See O Ch 124 (4) where it says that if nine people are not paying attention to the blessings of the chazan in the repetition of the Amidah, his blessings are close to being in vain.


1 Answer 1


A sleeping person can count to make a Minyan according to most opinions (ShA OC 55:6 with commentaries). It seems from the reasons of the dissenters that even they would agree in your case to count them for a Minyan.

What you would utilize such a Minyan for is a separate issue, as some things don't just need the presence of a Minyan but even the active participation of X number of people. For instance, the Mishna Berura there writes that a sleeping person would count to allow Kriat HaTorah but not count regarding a Minyan for reading Megillah.

  • is there a breakdown anywhere of what things require active participation and what can be said without any? I was asked to lead a shiva minyan (and say kaddish) when the other participants would not have any idea what to do, or would choose to do nothing.
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:03

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