There's a בית כנסת nearby that has מנינים every half hour between 6:00am until 9:20am. There's another one that has two מנינים, one at 6:40am and one at 7:40am.

The בית כנסת that goes later has one problem for me: people tend to be מתפלל loudly and pace around, both of which I find distracting.

If I'm running late (that's, ready to go after 7:40am) am I better off being מתפלל at home or go to shul and put up with the disturbances? Please cite halachic sources. (I'm pretty sure the משנה ברורה discusses this pretty early on.)

  • If you would not be able to have kavana for at least the first bracha, you would not be able to pray.
    – Loewian
    Dec 24, 2015 at 22:30
  • Just get up on time! It's an explicit Halacha. :-) Shulchan Aruch 1:1 - יִתְגַּבֵּר כַּאֲרִי לַעֲמֹד בַּבֹּקֶר לַעֲבוֹדַת בּוֹרְאוֹ שֶׁיְּהֵא הוּא מְעוֹרֵר הַשַּׁחַר: הגה: וְעַל כָּל פָּנִים לֹא יְאַחֵר זְמַן הַתְּפִלָּה שֶׁהַצִּבּוּר מִתְפַּלְּלִין Dec 28, 2015 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


This OU article touches on the question and says

Iggerot Moshe OC 3:7 rules that one should daven in shul with a minyan even if he would have more kavanah if he davens privately at home.

More detail: The Iggerot Moshe (IM) says that if someone can have the minimum essential kavannah to perform the mitzva of prayer even when he davens with a tzibbur then he should pray with the tzibbur even though he lacks the kavannah that he would like.

(I assume that this minimum essential kavannah is for the first bracha of the Amidah and that the person knows is praying before HKB"H.)

IM quotes his responsum OC 2 (27) where he proves there is a definite obligation to daven with a minyan. He goes on to say that the prayers of a tzibbur are always accepted whereas the prayers of an individual, however great he is, cannot be guaranteed to be accepted. Therefore the obligatory davenning in a tzibbur is better than the extra kavannah he might get by praying alone. This extra kavannah is anyway not guaranteed because in our times there is no-one who can claim that he has proper kavannah. That people nowadays do not have proper kavannah is brought down as halacha in OC 70 (3) (regarding krias shema but presumably true about other prayer too).

Therefore the Iggerot Moshe says that in order to gain the extra kavannah that someone imagines he may get by praying alone, he cannot push away his obligation to pray with a tzibbur.

  • Does he go into more detail?
    – Moshe
    Dec 25, 2015 at 14:35
  • Both I and hebrewbooks.org don't have Section 3 of Iggerot Moshe OC. Unless someone beats me to it, I will look it up iy"H. Dec 26, 2015 at 18:24
  • @Moshe - edited in more detail. Dec 27, 2015 at 16:27
  • Has anyone found section 3 of Iggerot Moshe OC online?
    – Chaim
    Dec 28, 2015 at 15:55

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