Recently I was in a Shul for Friday Mincha. As soon as there were 10 adults they began Ashrei. In the 2nd Bracha of the Chazan repeating Shemona Esrei they realized that one of those that they counted as an adult was first going to be Bar Mitzva in a few weeks. Thus there were really only 9 adults participating in this Minyan. What is the proper way to proceed in such an instance?

  • Your question pertains specifically ex post facto (Bedi'avad), right? Clearly, ex ante facto (Lekatehhilhah) the adults should have asked the boy (or his father if the boy was borderline) is he was of age.
    – Lee
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 13:57
  • Furthermore, in the manner of @DoubleAA, it might help to provide some background on why you might think this is a problem.
    – Lee
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 13:58
  • 2
    @Lee: Yes my question is only B'dieved. Lchatchila one does not start without a Minyan. If there is a Minyan to begin with and one left in the middle Shulchan Aruch discusses this. As to why this is a problem, I think it is clear what the problem is. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 14:14
  • @Lee, I agree with Gershon that this is fairly clear. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


According to what I would infer from

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 55:4:

יֵשׁ מַתִּירִין לוֹמַר דָּבָר שֶׁבַּקְּדֻשָּׁה בְּתִשְׁעָה וְצֵרוּף קָטָן, שֶׁהוּא יוֹתֵר מִבֶּן שֵׁשׁ וְיוֹדֵעַ לְמִי מִתְפַּלְּלִין, וְלֹא נִרְאִין דִּבְרֵיהֶם לִגְדוֹלֵי הַפּוֹסְקִים, וְהוּא הַדִּין דְּעֶבֶד וְאִשָּׁה אֵין מִצְטָרְפִין: הַגָּה: וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי חֻמָּשׁ שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ אֵין לְצָרְפוֹ, מִיהוּ יֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לְהָקֵל בִּשְׁעַת הַדַּחַק. (הָרֹא''שׁ וּמָרְדְּכַי וְהַגָּהוֹת מַיְמוֹנִי פֶּרֶק ח' מֵהִלְכוֹת תְּפִלָּה).

according to some opinions you may stil be able to continue. The beginning of this pargaraph states that that there are some who permit saying parts of the prayers with 9 people and a minor age 6+ who understands who he is praying to. EVen though the majority of people disagree with this opinion, one may be lenient bish'at hadchak (when there is no other choice.)

Ba'er Hetev commentary says that nowadays, even a "Sh'at Hadchal* would not allow the young boy to be part of a minyan.

Inferring from a previous par. in OC 55, it says that if in the middle of Shemoneh Esreh, you are left without a minyan, you may continue. This may be an irrelevant point, of course, if you rely on the She'at Hadchak leniency. If you could, and it were a She'at Hadchak, then the boy would count as part of the minyan to start, and there is no concern.

I think you need to inquire a rav as to whether your sit. is a "emergency", and what opinion the rav will follow.

  • I spoke to a Rav this morning, asking him if your answer is correct. He said perhaps, however most likely even after giving the Sefer Torah to the minor, the entire Shemona Esrei has to be repeated. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:01
  • Hi @GershonGold. I haven't had a chance to check this with my rav. I don't attend minyan daily (my bad?) I admit that there is an interesting nuance, here. We had a similar sit. where a stranger came to minyan, and of course, we assumed he was Jewish. (Who considers inquiring, right) Only at the point that someone asked him his name for an aliyah, did anyone discover that he wasn't. Update us on any details you get from your rav. I may post another question re if you should ask a stranger.
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:41
  • My Rav said I should send this question to Rabbi Zilberstein in Israel and see what he says. I plan on doing so and placing his answer over here when received. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:52
  • @GershonGold Your rav knows how to follow the advice of Pirkei Avot, correctly :-) Why does the name Rabbi Zilberstein, sound so familiar?
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:54
  • He has written many Sefarim with many interesting questions and answers en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitzchok_Zilberstein Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 14:09

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