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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:54:17 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Womens obligation to Pray in a Minyan Akiva Miller In Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 32 writes >>> My understanding is similar to Dr. Hendel's, that according to the Rambam, when a person is in trouble, there is a Biblical obligation to pray, and this applies to both men and women. (See Sefer Hachinuch 433; I'm not sure exactly where this appears in the Mishneh Torah.) >>> No. My understanding is that the RambaN holds that the Biblical obligation to pray is when a person is in trouble.The RambaM explicitly states that the Biblical obligation to pray is daily (Rambam Prayer 1:1) Akiva continues >>> But there is no specific form which the Torah requires for that prayer. How can it be possible that "all men/women are Biblically required to say Shmoneh Esray when they have needs"? Does the Rambam hold that the text of the Shmoneh Esray was known in biblical times? >>> This is answered by Rav Hirsch who points out that the FORM of prayer existed in Temple times and corresponded to the form of the sacrifices. Furthermore the Rambam explicitly states in Prayer 1:4-5 that the form of the Shmoneh Esray was made by the Prophet-Sages of the great Assembly (and presumably they made it equally for men and women) Akiva's last question is >>> My second question concerns Dr. Hendel's third point, in (c). Suppose that a woman has needs of the sort which gives her a biblical obligation to pray. Is there a Rambam somewhere which explicitly states that she must say her prayer together with a minyan of ten men? >>> Yes--- I intepret Rambam 8:1 "The prayers of the community (10 men) are ALWAYS heard..therefore a person should always strive to pray with the community" to mean that whether they are women or men they should pray with the community and that has a superior status Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel@Towson.Edu; Math Towson Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/