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Shelach: The Spies and the Minyan

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Shelach: The Spies and the Minyan

The Talmud deduces from the narrative of the spies that ten men constitute a congregation, thus the minyan which is used for specific sacred rituals. Why is it derived from the erring spies?
Minyan, Shlach, Spies

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Mordechai Kirsch Wayne, NJ March 23, 2012

thanks Finally after asking 20 Rabbis I finally understand the reason for 10 compromosing a minyan. Yasher coach, Rabbi. Great class. Reply

Anonymous Roanoke December 7, 2010

To anonymous in San Antonio... "Ten men" as constituting a quorum instead of "ten people" started in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 55:1). Of course, there is no reason given. Reply

Anonymous June 3, 2010

no women in minyan - Texas Many Reform movement congregations do count women in the minyan. Orthodox does not. One central reason is that the women at Sinai were spoken to first about receiving the Torah before the men. The women did not give gold for the Golden Calf. The women did not buy into the 10 wicked spies report. In other words the women had a firm faith in G-d, and far greater than the men. Thus, men are in the minyan because by this means more men will spend more time in prayer and at least reach the faith level of women.
Hope that this helps. Reply

Anonymous Torrington, CT June 3, 2010

Minyan We also derive a minyan from the story of Abraham asking G-d to spare Sodom if ten righteous people could be found. But note that Abraham says "Tzaddikim" (righteous people) which is a neutral word and could include women, not only men. This is a halachic Torah reference which indicates women should be counted towards a minyan. Reply

Anonymous San Antonio, Texas December 23, 2009

Spies and the Minyan I still do not have the answer to my question as to why a woman cannot be a member of a Minyan. Although all the spies were men was that not just an accident of the moment or perhaps place in the society or what Hashem willed? As a Minyan functions today as a community to pray etc. if we think of the 10 spies as 10 people why would that not be acceptable especially in many situations where there are not 10 men and it would be essential to have 10 people to perform this function (clearly Jews.) Is there any history of women being part of a Minyan? Is this perhaps a Rabbinic interpretaion given their lifetime so that the word man is used rather than "person"? Reply

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