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Hilchos Berachos 55 (page 173)
מסעיף ו עד סעיף י

The Use of a Hearing Aid in Halacha
Disabilities that can Disqualify Someone from being Counted Towards a Minyan
Can the Entire Minyan Recite Kaddish in Unison?

The use of a hearing aid in halacha
There is a debate as to whether a deaf person who can speak coherently can be counted towards a minyan. All agree that if he can follow along and participate with the congregation, he can be counted as part of the minyan. He cannot serve as chazan because the chazan must be capable of hearing whatever he recites. According to Rav Moshe Feinstein, a chazan must be capable of hearing on his own without the help of a hearing aid. Rav Shlomo Zalman adds that someone using a hearing aid does not hear the original sound but an electronic duplication of it. The Chazon Ish, however, was uncertain whether a person should be disqualified from being chazan for these reasons.
( סעיף ח, ס"ק לח, וביה"ל ד"ה חרש; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 44-45)
Disabilities that can disqualify someone from being counted towards a minyan
A shoteh (as classified in Shulchan Aruch Yorah Deah) cannot be counted towards a minyan. An imbecile who does not exhibit any of the signs of a shoteh but might be considered a fool by those around him can be counted as part of a minyan if he understands the concept of serving Hashem. A deaf-mute, whether he was born that way or not, is treated as a shoteh. Someone who can't hear or speak because of a passing illness can be counted towards a minyan.
( סעיף ח וביה"ל ד"ה הוא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 47, 48 ו־54)
Can an entire minyan recite kaddish in unison?
Some poskim permit all the members of a minyan to recite the mourner's kaddish. Since Amen responses are called for, this opinion relies on angels (those who accompany people or those who are appointed to handle tefillos) and on people who are passing by to answer Amen as required. It is also possible to consider the declaration of "answer Amen" as a directive to members of the congregation to respond in their hearts. It is preferable, however, for at least one member of the congregation to refrain from reciting kaddish in order to answer Amen as necessary. A second opinion requires that two people be available to respond, since the call is for a plural 'you' to say Amen.
( ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 41)

  • Most Rishonim do not count minor children towards a minyan, although some will count a child over six for a davar sheb'kedusha.
  • The child discussed above can be counted only for essential devarim sheb'kedusha-i.e. during shacharis from the half-kaddish recited after Yishtabach until kaddish tiskabel, and during mincha and ma'ariv from the kaddish before Shemoneh Esrei until kaddish tiskabel.
  • A saris will not grow the customary hairs that signify adulthood; he reaches adulthood retroactively once he is over nineteen years and thirty days old or, according to another opinion, once he is over 35 . 

  • When a younger child will turn bar mitzva before an older child

  • When is the date of the bar mitzva different than the date of birth?

  • Can an irreligious person be counted towards a minyan?



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.