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In the end of Chapter 1 of Igeret HaKodesh (often published with the Tanya), the Baal haTanya writes that businessmen should not be invited to lead prayer on weekdays, but only those with the free time to extend shacharit to at least 90 minutes. He suggests teachers and those supported by their parents have this ability. He goes further and says he will send spies to see if this is being followed and push off with both hands those who could do this, but do not.

Is such a thing still done at Lubavitch minyanim where it is possible, such as in a yeshiva? I have not seen it done in chabad shuls, presumably because those who need to go to work would not accept a 90 minute shacharit, whether they were leading or not.

If it is no longer done, was it a decision to do so, or has it merely fallen out of favor?

  • 90 minutes?! I've had enough after half that. – Scimonster Nov 7 '16 at 16:14
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    I'm a bit surprised that Chaba"d or anyone would not be concerned about tircha detzibbur. This is such an important halachic concept in tefilla that it is one of the reasons why we may not add extra aliyot on a weekday Torah reading. Even rolling a Sefer Torah is avoided because of this rule. How is Chaba"d ignoring this rule? – DanF Nov 7 '16 at 16:52
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Your question is a good one and the answer can be found if you read the end of the previous days portion from the first epistle of Igeret HaKodesh beginning with the words ולזאת אותה אבקש כו״.

The Alter Rebbe was addressing this to those minyanim and people (אנשי שלמינו) like us, who prayer with the kavanot (the mystical intentions) outlined by the Ari z"l and his followers. In the Alter Rebbe's day, that was much more common.

Today, individuals who are davening with the kavanot, let alone entire minyanim are few and far between. Most people have never even seen a siddur with the kavanot, much less spent the time to learn them and practice them.

But the guideline from the Alter Rebbe still stands. Frankly, an hour and one half to include all the kavanot is blazingly fast.

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If you listen to the lesson given by Rabbi Gordon A"H (8:15), he does mention that he heard (not sourced though) in the name of the Rebbe that it's now at 45 minutes. I personally heard in yeshiva one hour, but I don't remember the source.

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