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06/08/2018 12:06:16 PM


Have you ever wondered why a quorum for a minyan consists of 10? Why not 9 or 11? After all, it only took 6 teammates on the ice last night to win the Stanley Cup.

The answer lies in this week’s Torah reading. Each of the 12 tribes selected a chief to perform reconnaissance on the Land of Israel and its inhabitants, ahead of their impending invasion. 2 spies, Caleb and Joshua, reported that the land was “very very good.” However, 10 returned with a negative report and caused the nation to become discouraged. 

Perhaps they were afraid of the danger that awaited. Maybe some were comfortable to remain stagnant, while others longed for days gone by. Perhaps they lacked faith in God and transmitted that sentiment to their constituents by the hesitancy they displayed. Regardless, this group is thereafter dubbed haeidah hara’ah - the evil group.

Strikingly, this source, from this week’s Torah reading, is cited by the Oral Law supporting the requirement of a quorum of 10 to recite prayers considered “holy” (i.e. kaddish, barchu, kedusha, Torah reading).

Please join me this Shabbat morning as we explore how this connection is made and discuss the interaction between scripture, the Oral Law, and Jewish ritual, as it has been applied in ancient and modern religious practice.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Suson

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-Rabbi Suson

Mon, May 27 2019 22 Iyyar 5779