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asara mispallelim and maariv

Question:

I came 5 minutes late to Maariv at shul X where there are more than asara mispallelim. Should I try to quickly catch up and then daven SE (doable, though I will need to rush), OR go to shul Y where they did not start davening yet but they do not (and will not, possibly) have asara mispallelim?

On the one hand, I am makpid to daven with asara mispallelim (not 6). On the other hand, it would be a chesed to help Shul Y where they are constantly running in the street looking for more people. Should I forfeit tefilla b’tzibbur to do a chesed (as I said, I hold that less than 10 mispallelim is not tefilla b’tzibbur, as was the psak of Moreinu HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein in Igros Moshe 1:28).

Answer:

Daven in the first minyan, because there you surely have tefila b’tzibbur, but at the second place you only have a safek about it. Don’t try catching up even if it is “doable”, but daven SE first and then go to the beginning and say kriyas shema and it’s brachos.

Best Wishes

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2 Comments

  1. To daven SE first and then birkas krias shema is very b’dieved (even though technically one is allowed to do this).
    The rav is saying that it is better to daven backwards than to daven normally in a place with 6 mispallelim? Is there a source for this? What about the fact that there is a mitzvah of chesed in helping the other shul?

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