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 Hilchos Tefilla 90 (page 244)
 מסעיף י עד סעיף יג

Davening Ahead of the Minyan
Walking to Shul
Hurrying to Shul

Davening ahead of the minyan
Someone davening with a minyan should not recite Shemoneh Esrei ahead of the rest of the congregation. It is considered as though he is disgracing the tzibur and possibly forfeiting, at least in part, tefilla b'tzibur. In those situations that it is permissible for a person to daven without the minyan, he should do so outside of [the davening area of] the shul. According to most poskim, the rule of not davening ahead of the minyan is limited to Shemoneh Esrei and does not apply to other parts of davening (e.g. pesukie d'zimra, birchos Kriyas Shema).
( סעיף י וס"ק לד-לה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, (24), 33 ו־34)
Walking to shul
There is benefit in choosing a farther shul over a closer one, since a special reward is earned for every step taken on the way to daven. Bypassing the closer shul is not a violation of ein ma'avirim al hamitzvos (do not bypass a mitzva) because one is heading to a place where he can perform the current mitzva in a more desirable manner. If the closer shul has a larger tzibur, the benefit of rov am takes precedence. According to some, the special reward for the 'extra steps' is lost when one is riding on an animal or in a car.
( ס"ק לז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 38 ו־40)
Hurrying to shul
It is a mitzva to hurry on the way to shul (or on the way to any other mitzva), but it is a violation of decorum to run inside the shul. Someone called for an aliyah to the Torah should hasten, but not run, to the bima. One should not rush to leave a shul, as doing so could give the impression that attendance in shul is a burden on him.  It is a mitzva to run from the shul to learn Torah, or to quickly run out so that he can come back as soon as possible.
( סעיף יב וס"ק מ, מא ו־מג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 41)

  • According to some poskim, davening with a minyan is mandatory, while other poskim hold that it is just an ideal. According to some poskim, all ten must daven as a unit, while others hold that only six of the ten must be davening.
  • When choosing between two comparable shuls (i.e. both have equal decorum, nusach, customs, etc.), one should opt for the shul with a larger attendance.
  • Someone who is unable to join a minyan for davening should try to recite his Shemoneh Esrei at the same time as the minyan says it in shul.

  • Travelling to a minyan

  • Are Torah students exempt from davening?

  • The reward of the 'first ten.'



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.