Halachos of Making a Minyan for Aseres Hadibros

Ask the Rov: What must I know for arranging a minyan for Aseres Hadibros?

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin – Rov of Anash in Petach Tikvah

Krias haTorah, like any davar shebikdusha, requires a minyan.1 Even if there was a minyan for Shmoneh Esreh but one person left afterward, the Torah may not be read with less than ten present. According to many poskim, it’s not sufficient that they are in the room; rather, they also must be listening to the kriah.2

How many of the ten nust not have heard kriah before? Some hold that there must be ten men who haven’t heard kriah,3 while others hold that a majority—i.e., six—is sufficient,4 and this seems to be the accepted practice in Chabad.5 While some say that in davening the Torah should be read even if the majority earlier heard since krias haTorah is a part of davening, the Rebbe seems to reject this notion.6

Can one have in mind that the kriah he hears in shul should not be counted so he can make up a minyan later?

As a rule, one can have in mind while doing a mitzvah not to fulfill his obligation (kavana shelo latzeis). Moreover, since krias haTorah is midrabanan, one could make a stipulation (breira) that if he is needed for the minyan later, then the kriah he heard in shul won’t count retroactively.7 However, others argue that kavana not to be yotzei doesn’t work for kriah, which is a communal obligation and doesn’t require individual intent. According to them, so long as one heard the kriah, it is counted. The accepted custom is to allow a stipulation.8

When making a kriah for Aseres Hadibros, one must read the entire kriah for the day (not just the Aseres Hadibros),9 and ensure that there is proper a proper mechitza in place.10 When reading in a location other than a shul, one must be careful with transporting the Torah to another location, which is subject to certain conditions (see issue 543).

It should be noted that the Rebbe asked for children to be brought specifically to shul to hear the Aseres Hadibros to reenact the original Matan Torah.11 Moreover, due to numerous halachic issues it is best to hold public krios in shul and not in a different location.12

See Sources (open PDF)

From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash

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