Make Maariv With a Minyan Now!

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    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.

    1. 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 yairhoffman2@gmail.com

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. Thank you for the chizuk. I agree with you that Teffila is so important, that’s why we were B”H able to make a clandestine Minyan 3 times a day. We do so responsibly with everyone at least 6 feet from each other. B”H the misyavnim & beryonim haven’t found us out yet, but if they do, we’re ready to defend ourselves. We will not go down like sheep.

      • Re-read or read the article carefully. This is not a call to go off and “do your own thing” and be mevatel your health and others. It is a careful reading, a call to use learning halochos to substitute for being in a minyan as saying korbanos is a substitute for bringing them physically. Your Schar in Shomayim remains the same by saying it as opposed to doing it. You’re going to defend yourself against an enemy that is .01 micron wide and stealthy. I, personally, don’t get it and I don’t want to get IT. You’re not being mekayem mitzvohs when you are doing them be’aveirah. I hope your minyan isn’t found either and I hope you’re not recognized so others are encouraged to join you. Just have your affairs in order.

        • Stay home and you’ll be safe. Don’t be so “concerned” about those who like living life on the edge. If YOU follow the dictates of the medical experts and YOU stay locked up at home you have nothing to worry about.

    2. I don’t understand how a Yid a Yiras Shomaiyim can say, we make a minyan and we don’t get caught.
      Chasal tell us you are a Hediyet wenn the Chachomim forbid us to make a Minyan.
      All of a sudden Yiden who during the year are not so makpid with Minyan, they all of a sudden become the new heros by making candelstine Minyonim! You have your real jewish values from somewhere else but surely not from the Toiro!

    3. But why are crowds of people allowed in supermarkets and shop at less than six feet of each other. No one says to be closer than six feet by davening but these modern or semi modern Jewish groups jump at davening. Why don’t they speak out against shopping at supermarkets,drug stores,banks and laundromats as well as Staples. Or at least order in from groceries.

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