web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Can A Mechallel Shabbos Be Counted For A Minyan?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

In this week’s parshah we read about the episode of the meraglim. The meraglim were sent to spy on Eretz Canaan to see if it was militarily feasible for the Bnei Yisrael to conquer the land by defeating the nations that were living there.

Ten of twelve spies returned, saying that this would be impossible. As the pasuk says: “lo nuchal la’alos el ha’am, ki chazak hu mimenu – we cannot conquer the nation, for they are stronger than us.” The Gemaras in Sotah 35a, Eruchin 15a, and Menachos 53b say that these ten meraglim became kofrim, as they were referring to the fact that Hashem was unable to conquer the nations of Canaan.

There are two halachos that we derive from the meraglim’s experience. One halacha is found in the Gemara in Sanhedrin 74b that says that if one is forced to perform any aveirah befarhesya (in public) he must not perform the aveirah – even if it means sacrificing his life. This is because any aveirah that is done befarhesya will be a chillul Hashem. One is obligated to give up his life so as not to be mechallel Hashem. The Gemara says that befarhesya is when there are ten people present. The Gemara takes this from the fact that the pasuk by Kiddush/chillul Hashem says “Venikdashti besoch Bnei Yisrael,” and the pasuk by the meraglim says “hivdelu mitoch ha’eidah hara hazos – remove yourself from this bad congregation.” The Gemara makes a gezeirah shavah between these two pesukim, both of which have the same word – “toch.” This tells us that just as concerning the meraglim the pasuk was referring to ten people, by Kiddush/chillul Hashem the pasuk is also referring to ten people. The pasuk by the meraglim was referring to only ten people because we know that two spies, Yehoshua and Kalev, gave good reports about the land. Thus, when the Torah says that one is to remove himself from this bad congregation, we know it was referring to ten people.

The second place where we draw a similar halacha from the meraglim is in the Gemara in Megillah 23b. The Gemara there says that any davar she’bikedushah must be performed in the presence of ten men. The Gemara makes the same gezeirah shavah from the word “toch” in the above mentioned pesukim to reach this halacha.

Rav Moshe Feinstein, in Igros Moshe (Yoreh De’ah 1:70, and Orach Chaim 1:23), rules that regarding both of these halachos (befarhesya and that a davar she’bikedushah requires ten men) a mechallel Shabbos or a kofer would count toward the minyan. This is because the source for both of these halachos is from the meraglim. As the Gemara points out, the ten meraglim that lead us to this halacha were kofrim b’ikar. Therefore, Rav Moshe rules that a mechallel Shabbos can be counted for a minyan b’shas hadchak (when in need).

Rav Moshe was asked that, conceivably, the only aspect that the Gemara wanted to derive from the drasha is the fact that “toch” refers to ten people. Perhaps we cannot draw from the drasha what the necessary status of the people must be, in which case there would be no proof that a mechallel Shabbos could count for a minyan.

Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 2:19) responded that the Gemara in Sanhedrin 74b discusses whether, for the halacha of befarhesya needed by chillul Hashem, it would suffice to have nine Jews and one non-Jew. The Gemara responds that since the meraglim were all Jews befarhesya, this requires that there should be ten Jews. So if the drasha was only meant to tell us the amount of people, how can the Gemara use this drasha to require that all of the people be Jewish? We see from this that the people’s status is part of the drasha. Thus, regarding befarhesya that is needed for chillul Hashem, even a mechallel Shabbos should be sufficient to be counted for the minyan. And since the Gemara in Megillah makes the same drasha for a davar she’bikedushah, we can be sure that a mechallel Shabbos can be counted for a minyan for that as well.

Rav Moshe points out that this ruling only regards a davar she’bikedushah, e.g. saying Barchu or Kaddish. But tefillah b’tzibbur will not be achieved when the minyan is relying on a mechallel Shabbos or a kofer to make the minyan. Therefore, one may count a mechallel Shabbos for a minyan in order to recite Kaddish or Barchu – but not to achieve tefillah b’tzibbur.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Can A Mechallel Shabbos Be Counted For A Minyan?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

Rabbi-Twersky-112114

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

The implication of the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 233:2) is that one may not daven Minchah before six and one half hours into the day.

Some Rishonim are bothered by the opinion of the Rambam that bnei Noach are commanded not to eat basar min hachai.

According to the Raavad if one who is uncircumcised breaks something he will be exempt from paying for it since he was chayav kares at the same time as he was obligated to repay for the item he broke.

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/can-a-mechallel-shabbos-be-counted-for-a-minyan/2013/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: