Rabbi, can you help me with this? I was told that this weeks parasha is the source that 10 men make a minyan. Can you explain why? And if so why can’t 10 women also make their own minyan? Perhaps they can…
is there something wrong with it?
The source from this week’s parashah concering a minyan is from the word eidah, meaning congregation. The word is used in connection with the spies that spoke lashon hara against the Land of Israel, who were ten in number. We derive from here that a minyan — a congregation — consists of ten men.
Women are not qualified for forming a minyan, but some maintain that they can make up the number of ten people for pirsum ha-nes, for instance for Purim.
In a hashakafah sense, it isn’t right for women to make up their own minyanim, and the ideas of those who wish to “reform the system” should be opposed. Please see Iggros Moshe (Orach Chaim 4:49; the teshuvah discusses a woman wearing a tallis) who makes this point very clearly, and explains the different roles of men and women.