Minyan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
JaffaMaariv
Minyan Ma'ariv prayer in a Jaffa Tel Aviv flea-market shop

Minyan, in Judaism, is a group of ten Jewish men ( or women in non Orthodox groups) that are needed to perform certain rituals.

Rituals requiring a minyan

Some rituals require a minyan; the presence of a rabbi (a teacher, not a priest) is not essential—it is said that "nine rabbis do not constitute a minyan, but ten cobblers can".

The following instances which require a minyan are listed in the Mishnah in Megillah (iv. 3):

  • Public worship, which consists of the additional readings of Kaddish, Barechu, Kedusha and the Repetition of the Amidah. The treatise Soferim, written in Babylonia in the seventh century, contains a passage (10:7) often interpreted as asserting that in Land of Israel at that time seven men were allowed to hold public services. Correctly interpreted it refers to the repeating of "Kaddish" and "Barechu" at the synagogue for the benefit of late comers, and declares that in Israel such a repetition is permitted only when seven (according to others, when six) men are present who have not yet heard these responsive readings.
  • The priestly blessing.
  • Reading from the Torah and Prophets with the associated benedictions.
  • Seven benedictions recited at a wedding, or at any meal of the bridegroom and bride within a week from the wedding.
  • Using the formulation "Let us bless our God, from whose wealth we have eaten," in preparing for Grace after meals.
  • Ancient funeral ceremonies, no longer in use, which incorporated arranging the standing and sitting, reciting the benedictions of the mourners and the consolation of the mourners.

Other instances which require the presence of a minyan include:

  • Kiddush Hashem
  • Recitation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy
  • Recitation of Birkat ha-Gomel.

While the required quorum for most activities requiring a quorum is usually ten, it is not always so. For example, the Passover sacrifice or Korban Pesach (from the days of the Temple in Jerusalem) must be offered before a quorum of 30. (It must be performed in front of kahal adat yisrael, the assembly of the congregation of Israel. Ten are needed for the assembly, ten for the congregation, and ten for Israel.)

Images for kids


Minyan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.