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Hilchos Berachos 55 (page 172)
מסימן נה אמצע סעיף ג אבל אין קורין עד סעיף ו

Counting a Child Grasping a Sefer Torah Towards a Minyan
For Which Parts of Tefilla Can Such a Child be Counted?
The Signs of a Saris

Counting a child grasping a sefer Torah towards a minyan
Most Rishonim do not count minor children towards a minyan, although some will count a child over six for a davar sheb'kedusha. The Rama is lenient in times of need, but many Acharonim disagree. Some poskim are lenient if the child holds a sefer Torah, even one that is pasul. If the child wishes to daven while holding the sefer Torah, he must put it on a table and grasp it from there because one is forbidden to hold a sefer Torah while reciting Shemoneh Esrei. The poskim discuss whether this option works for kriyas haTorah as well.
( סעיף ד וס"ק כד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 32-33)
For which parts of tefilla can such a child be counted?
The child discussed above can be counted only for essential devarim sheb'kedusha - i.e. from the half- kaddish recited after Yishtabach until kaddish tiskabel during shacharis, and from the kaddish before Shemoneh Esrei until kaddish tiskabel during mincha and ma'ariv. The mourner's kaddish recited after Aleynu (and other times) is omitted. According to some poskim, the chazan should not recite his personal Shemoneh Esrei because the repetition would be considered a beracha l'vatalah according to those who do not count a child towards the minyan.
( ס"ק כד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 33)
The signs of a  saris
A man who was born infertile will not grow the customary hairs that signify adulthood. Such a person is considered an adult retroactively once he is over the age of 35, which is half of the average lifespan, and is also considered an adult if he exhibits signs of infertility once he is over nineteen years and thirty days old (see Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 172:5). Some poskim consider a person in this category an adult for anything of a Rabbinical nature if he exhibits the signs of infertility.
( סעיף ה וס"ק כז-ל)

  • If the minyan disbanded while the congregation was in the middle of a davar sheb'kedusha, they may complete it if six or more members remain.
  • Chazaras hashatz may not be started without a minyan even if Shemoneh Esrei was said with one. The same is true of Birkas Kohanim (recited towards the end of chazaras hashatz), because it is a separate mitzva.
  • An artificial man created through the Sefer Yetzirah cannot be counted towards a minyan. There is an opinion which does not consider such a being as Jewish or even human.

  • The use of a hearing aid in halacha

  • Counting people of low intelligence towards a minyan

  • Can the entire minyan recite kaddish together?



The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.