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If there's a situation where one must recite Kaddish, as for example following the death of a close relative, but said person does not have a minyan or synagogue nearby. Can a virtual skype minyan in a different city recite Kaddish and the person watching over video conferencing respond and fulfill the obligation?

marked as duplicate by Scimonster, sabbahillel, Community Aug 31 '16 at 20:50

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  • possible dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/68169/759 – Double AA Aug 29 '16 at 18:07
  • If there is no Minyan then how can there be a need to say Kaddish? Kaddish is said on verses/study done in public. If there was no public study, then there is no Kaddish. – Double AA Aug 29 '16 at 18:08
  • @DoubleAA May not be a dupe. That question seems to relate to anwering Kaddish where there is a minyan. OP is aksing about saying Kaddish, which requires a minyan for him to do so. From what I have understood from my rav, a minyan must consist of all members of the miunyan being present in the same place. The question is phrased vaguely, here. OP says that " one must recite Kaddish" but the end says that he will respond to others. If one is obligated to say it, responding doesn't accomplish anything, AFAIK. – DanF Aug 29 '16 at 19:49
  • When I was at the siyum hashas in Baltimore, while we were seeing it live on screen, we had to have the kaddish said by someone at the siyum. We could not be yotzei (or daven) with the "virtual" minyan. Thus, the OP's case could not occur, because the person is not part of a minyan. – sabbahillel Aug 29 '16 at 19:58

Will the Synagogue Ever Go Virtual? discusses the matter and points out that the halacha requires physical presence. Even in two rooms in the same house, separated by a wall would prevent the two groups from being part of the same minyan.

Can those ten people be gathered via webcam?

Apparently not. Jewish Law specifies that the constitution of a minyan is when “all ten are in one place.”2 Even if they are geographically close but separated by a wall, the ten people cannot be considered a minyan.

Shulchan Aruch Harav, Orach Chayim 55:15

An interesting way of considering this

From another perspective, in the infancy of the World Wide Web, Rabbi Kazen was asked about virtual prayer. He responded:

Can I have a virtual meal? How long is it going to hold me for? I can read a recipe, but I still have to go out there and buy the eggs, buy the sugar.

Yes, the prayer itself can be read off the Net. But the actual act needs to be done by a physical person. The concept of Judaism in general is using the material - the animal cowhide, the hair of the lamb created into wool - so that there's actual participation in all the different four levels: the inanimate, the flora, the fauna, and the human being - all into one aspect.

The quorum of ten people requires ten physical bodies [in the same room]. Each individual person has a spark of G‑dliness within them, which is the soul. We don't necessarily see the spiritual reality of what is happening at the time, but certain things have to be done with physical people, just as food has to be eaten by physical people.

The Soul of Cyberspace

One could note that the Conservative movement attempted to come up with a way of allowing this but could not do so in a paper written March 13, 2001. Their final conclusion was that a virtual minyan was not valid.

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