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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - counting minor boy for minyan
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

First of all, Shulchan Aruch considers using a child to be a very questionable practice, and the minhag today is universally not to rely on this opinion. However, R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal did permit counting one child, preferably 12 years old, to a minyan as long as he is holding a Sefer Torah, even if it is pasul. He only permitted this under the extreme situation where by not allowing such an arrangement would jeopardize the long term functioning of the shul, as people would stop coming if they could not rely on finding a minyan. Also, we wrote that while Borchu, Kaddish, Kedusha and Kriyas HaTorah may be performed, the Chazzan should not recite the Shmona Esrei quietly and then repeat it aloud, but rather should first say it out loud as many do for Mincha. R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal did not allow a minyan of less than 10 full-fledged adults under any circumstances, but one may rely on Reb Moshe if absolutely necessary.

posted:2008-09-06 23:08:27


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Visitor Comments: 2

Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh, 2008-09-15 04:29:59
Let me clarify by adding some background information. While you may say Kaddish, Borchu and repeat Shmona Esrei using a minor under the circumstances I delineated, and with hesitation. However the obligation of Tefila B'Tzibur is not fulfilled without 10 adult men. Therefore, especially for Rosh HaShana I would strongly recommend making arrangements to have 10 men present even if it means hiring a second man to come with the Chazzan. If there is no other shul in town and no tenth adult and it is not feasible to bring in another man, then you may use a boy even under 12 and the Chazzan may recite the entire Shmona Esrei, but together with the Tzibur and not after a separate quiet Amida. But I sincerely hope you can find a tenth man and not need to rely on this.
Anonymous, 2008-09-07 06:41:47
if only at age 12, the problem would have been solved.

Without being able to count him, the shul won't hire a chazzan for Rosh Hashana, since we need a committed minyan, counting he chazzan. Is that an extreme circumstance?

At shiva, the rabbi said any boy who new some basics could be promoted, not strictly by age. Are there standards other than age 12?

For the long special mussaf, if no repetition, if the chazzan davens from Bircas Avos through Kedusha, if that is what is being described, is that what should be done, even on Rosh Hashana?
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