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Is there a chiyuv of kriyas ha-torah when davening without a minyan?

Question:

  1. Is there a chiyuv of kriyas ha-torah when davening without a minyan? This is relevant at the moment when many can’t daven with a minyan because of corona-related restrictions.
  2. Is there a difference between kriyah on weekdays and on Shabbos? If there isn’t a chiyuv m’ikar ha-din, is it praiseworthy nonetheless?

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Answer:

  1. There is controversy among the Rishonim and Achronim regarding regarding this question, if the obligation to hear Kriyas Hatorah is on the Tzibbur ( public) or on the individual (yochid), see sources. According to a number of Poskim an individual that did not hear Kriyas Hatorah should go to hear it if possible. In our present situation though a person who is not supposed to be going outside, or if going to a place that they are reading will put himself or others in danger then he shouldn’t.
  2. According to many posim there isn’t a difference between Shabbos and the weekdays regarding the obligation to hear kriyas hatorah. However some say that on Monday and Thursday it is an obligation for the tzibbur, and on Shabbos it is an obligation for the individual. See Vayivarech Dovid 1:27. Aside from this, on Shabbos we have the obligation to read the parsha shayim mikra…

Sources:

  1. See Bal Hameor and Ramban Megillah 5, who argue about this, The Ramban holds that it is a chiyuv on the tzibbur and the Baal Hameor that it is a chiyuv on the individual  Also see Tosefos Succah 52a D:H Vkivon, and Raviya 37, Shibolei Halket 39, Also see Har Tzvi O:CH 139, who brings other Rishonim that argue about this. Also see Minchas Yitzchok 2-41, Teshuvos Vhanhagos 1-148 and 3-65. Regarding the Poskim, the Chazon Ish (Orchos Rabeinu 1 pg. 9, held that it is a chiyuv on the tzibur and that one who didn’t hear it does not have to go to look for a inyan to hear it, on the other hand the M:B (146 D:H Vyesh), and Igros Moshe O”CH 4-23, 40, held that it is a chiyuv on the individual.
  2. Also see Ishei Yisroel 38-22, in the name of Ketzos Hashulchan, also see Rav Poalim Y.D. 52, regarding if one should the read it in a chumash.However the minhag seems not that people don’t read it, see Yabia Omer, Y.D. 4-31 (3).

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