Davening Before the Minyan

By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan


A yeshiva rebbi came late to shul and missed the first minyan. A second minyan will soon begin but they daven slowly and if he waits he will be late for class. May he hurry his davening and daven Shmoneh Esreh before the minyan?


There are two advantages[1] to davening with a minyan in shul: A) That it is taking place in a Shul – therefore, even if one has ten men at home, or one who missed the minyan, he should nevertheless go to shul to daven. B) It is with a minyan.

It is forbidden[2] for one who is in shul to daven Shmoneh Esreh before the minyan or to exit the shul to daven before the minyan; rather, he must wait to daven with the minyan. If one is unwell or there is another pressing need (‘oness’) he would be permitted to daven in shul before the minyan.

However, one who is merely weak is prohibited from davening in shul before the minyan, or [according to the Alter Rebbe[3]] to leave the shul. Yet, if he remained home due to his weakness, although usually one davening at home should attempt to daven at the same time as the minyan, when he is weak, he need not wait until the time the minyan davens.

A rebbi in a yeshiva coming late to class causes bitul Torah for the entire class[4] and therefore can be considered an ‘oness’[5], which would allow him to daven in shul before the minyan. (Although he could have come to the earlier minyan, he can still be considered an ‘oness’, since in his current situation waiting for the second minyan will result in him being late for class). However, it would definitely be preferable for the rebbi not to come to shul late in the first place and avoid this issue.


Reprinted with permission from  Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit Mercazanash.com

[1] שו”ע אדה”ז סי’ צ סעי’ י

[2] שם סעי’ יא

[3] שם. והנה נחלקו האחרונים בטעם האיסור אי משום דמבזה הציבור או משום שתפילת רבים רצויה, ואדה”ז מביא רק טעם הב’ שלפיו אסור גם לצאת מביהכ”נ, עי’ משנ”ב ס”ק לה ועוד. וראה בחקרי הלכות ח”ו עמ’ נו דשמא הטעם שהקיף אדה”ז דבריו אלו בסוגריים כי חשש לשיטת המאמר מרדכי, ויל”ע. וראה ג”כ פסקי תשובות כאן בהערות ובשו”ת שבהערה 5

[4] ראה שו”ע יו”ד סי’ רמה סעי’ יז דמלמד שמניח התינוקות ויוצא הרי זה בכלל ארור עושה מלאכת ה’ רמי’

[5] כן יוצא לדעת אדה”ז שהאיסור הוא משום מעלת תפלת הרבים ובמקום אונס מותר. אך להסוברים שהוא משום בזיון הציבור כ’ הערוה”ש שצ”ל אונס דמינכר להציבור. אך י”ל שגם כאן ידוע שאנוס הוא. וראה בשו”ת חיי הלוי ח”ב סי’ ח

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