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Hilchos Tefilla 90 (page 243)
מסעיף ח עד סעיף י

Tefilla B'tzibur
Dividing a Large Group Into Subgroups to Make Minyanim for Multiple Chiyuvim
Other Forms of Tefilla B'tzibur

Tefilla b'tzibur
According to some poskim, davening with a minyan is mandatory, while others hold that this is just an ideal. Given a choice between davening with a minyan or hearing kriyas haTorah, it is preferable to opt for davening with the minyan. A minyan for Shacharis takes priority over a minyan for Musaf. Tefilla b'tzibur is when there are ten men davening together. According to some poskim, all ten must daven as a unit, while others hold that only six of the ten must be davening. Ideally, all members of the minyan should begin Shmoneh Esrei in unison. If someone joins a group which is already davening, the level of tefilla b'tzibur he achieves is questionable.
( סעיף ט וס"ק כח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 18, 23, 24, 26 ו־27)
Dividing a large group into subgroups to make minyanim for multiple chiyuvim
The rule of b'rov am teaches that it is always preferable to perform mitzvos together with a large group. When choosing between two comparable shuls (i.e. both have equal decorum, nusach, customs, etc.), one should opt for the shul with larger attendance. Some poskim were opposed to the practice of dividing a large group into smaller ones to allow several aveilim to each lead their own minyan. Other poskim approved the practice because the benefit it provides to the soul of the deceased is greater than the need for rov am. A middle opinion permits dividing the large group before davening commences, but not once the people have already begun pesukei d'zimra.
( ס"ק כח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 21-22; וראה עוד שם)
Other forms of tefilla b'tzibur
Someone who is unable to join a minyan for davening has several options for making his tefilla into more of a tefilla b'tzibur. If he cannot attend shul, he should try to recite his Shemoneh Esrei at the same time that the minyan says it in shul. If he arrived in shul after they completed Shemoneh Esrei, he should aim to recite his tefilla while they are reciting Ashrei/Uva L'tzion or Mussaf, when applicable. If these options are unavailable, he should attempt to daven in the shul because tefillos recited there receive a better reception in Heaven. Likewise, it is preferable to daven with a minyan in shul than with a minyan in one's home or other location.
( סעיף ט וס"ק כז, ל ו־לג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו)

  • Shemoneh Esrie requires awe and submission, and should be recited in a place with walls (a roof is not necessary) to be conducive to this mentality. Chazal call someone who davens in an open area chatzuf (brazen).
  • One should daven only in rooms with windows facing Yerushalayim. There is no maximum number of windows a shul can have, but according to the Zohar it is proper that a shul should have at least twelve windows.
  • Someone who must daven outside of a shul should not daven with his back towards the shul or facing a direction opposite to the one that the congregants face. If someone realized in the middle of davening that he is facing the wrong direction, he should turn around -- even during Shemoneh Esrei.

  • Davening ahead of the minyan

  • Walking to shul

  • Hurrying into shul



PLEASE NOTE:  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.