Sunday, May 05, 2019

On being counted for a minyan

I've decided that I've been unfair to an Orthodox acquaintance.

I've been rather taken aback by the fact that she almost never goes to synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath) or Chagim (holidays) despite the fact that she's never been married, has no children, and is not taking care of elderly parents or anyone other than herself.  If the traditional explanation for why women are not, by Orthodox interpretation of halachah (Jewish religious law), required to pray three times every day, preferably with a minyan, is that their primary responsibility is to take care of other people, presumably to enable those who are required to pray thrice daily to fulfill their obligation,* then why should any woman who doesn't have any such responsibilities still be exempt?

[*See AnDat's comment to my Tuesday, November 13, 2012 post, A problem with the language of chiyuv (obligation), for her explanation of "hechsher mitzvah"--I can't find another explanation online.]

But I've concluded that my attitude does not take into account the obvious fact that expecting someone to go to synagogue when no one really cares whether they're there or not and they can just as easily pray at home is simply asking too much.

When one is counted for a minyan, however, the whole picture changes.

Our congregation is now so small that I don't dare skip going to morning services on a Shabbat or Chag (except for health reasons), lest our congregation not have a minyan for a Torah reading.

Evening services, when we almost never get a minyan anyway, are another matter.

And therein lies another tale.

Stay tuned for my next post.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>