by Rabbi Yair Hoffman (a joint VINNEWS and 5TJT.com project)
Many of us are painfully missing the fact that we should not be davening with a minyan anymore. So here is, perhaps, an innovative way of doing it
Rav Aharon haKohen Pietrokov, the son-in-law of the Chofetz Chaim wrote a sefer called, “Avodas HaKorbanos.” The Chofetz Chaim himself had commissioned him to write it. In his preface to the sefer, the Chofetz Chaim cites the Gemorah in Menachos 110a and in Bava Metziah 114b that learning the halachos of the Korbanos is likened to having actually brought them.
In these difficult times of the Coronavirus Pandemic, our Gedolim have told us not to have minyanim. Based upon the above – perhaps learning two halachos a day about each Tefillah and the halachos of Tefillah b’tzibbur should make it count as if we davened b’minyan. The goal is to have two halachos posted daily about the topic for each of the three daily Tefilos. Please check back with us for each tefilah time.
- When on begins asher bidvaro maariv aravim one should shut his eyes if he davens by heart. There are kabbalistic reasons to shutting one’s eyes in the shamah and its blessings. This is only during the weekday, but there is no need to shut one’s eyes on Shabbos. (Kaf haChaim 235:6)
2. Davening Maariv in a Minyan is important because it is a means in which we can utilize the tzibbur to directly communicate with Hashem. It is also the means in which we can acknowledge in a tzibbur – “Ain od milvado – there is nothing else but Him.” It is where we ask Hashem to make changes here in the physical world.
Rav Chaim Volozhin in his Nefesh HaChaim (2:9-14) explains that Tefillah must rise up and penetrate all of the spiritual worlds. The reason for this is that it will allow Hashem’s goodness to flow down and nourish all of the spiritual worlds. It helps unify them all as well. This causes changes in the physical world down here – imbuing the physical with spiritual.
This is the reason why Tefilah stands b’romo shel olam (Brachos 6b) according to Rav Chaim Volozhin.
The author can be reached at email@example.com