Individual Postings 1st appeared(& were copied in html form) on the Email List Mail Jewish

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 20:22:30 -0500 (EST) Subject: A New Reason For Minyan; Counting Non Frum Jews Yoel Finkelman In Volume 30 Number 60 brings up the issue of not counting non frum jews for a minyan. I would like to give two arguments in support [of counting them - Mod.](one halachic and one midrashic). Before doing so I state that I am aware that there are sources that seem to support this practice sometimes [not counting them? Mod.] and I hope they are cited and refuted by other posters. An entire issue of times magazine a few years ago on prayer reported that 25% of aetheists pray. Personally I (and am sure others ) have seen non believers go to Minyan to say kadish. Therefore EVEN if we shouldn't count them in a minyan, we have a right to perceive them as 'mometarily doing teshuva'---by particpating in the minyan. Even if say they are mechallel shabbos, we presume that they have taken upon themselves the yoke of heaven (after all if they really didn't believe in God why would they pray). On a philosophical level note that the REASON we require a minyan of 10 people is because 'all matters of sanctity' require 10. This is learned from the word link in the two verses (lev 19:1) 'tell the CONGREGATION to be HOLY' and Num 14:27 '..this evil CONGREGATION' The logic goes that since the CONGREGATION in Num refers to the 10 spies therefore the CONGREGATION in Lev also refers to 10 people. But such derivations by word links are only valid on Biblical laws for which we have a mosaic tradition dating back to Sinai. Minyan is rabbinic (the same way Kedushah and Brchu is rabbinic). So what is the real reason we daven with 10. I would suggest that we daven with 10 to REMIND ourselves that the slander of only 10 spies caused the downfall of the Jewish people in the wilderness. In other words every time 10 people get together to pray--they form a minyan--and chazal wanted them to remember how evil slander is. From this point of view, it would be important to accept all people who wish to pray at every minyan Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.Edu Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/