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Chapter 12:13-15
Preparing Oneself to Pray

13.Similarly, a person who feels weak and has difficulty waiting to eat until after the minyan completes its prayers is permitted to pray earlier at home, in order to eat immediately (as stated in Chapter 8, Law 2).

A person is permitted to pray earlier only when he remains at home. However, if he comes to a synagogue where a minyan prays communally, he may not pray before the minyan. It is also forbidden to leave the synagogue in order to pray before the minyan. *

* {The Mishnoh Beruroh 90:34,35 mentions leniencies should one need to leave the synagogue.}

Nevertheless, should he see that the minyan is delaying its prayers, he may pray alone in order that the time for Shemoneh Esreh not pass before he prays. Similarly, if he is sick or there are other factors beyond his control, it is permissible to pray earlier [than the minyan. This applies] even in the synagogue. However, it is preferable for him to go home to pray.

14.There are opinions which maintain that if one minyan has already prayed in the synagogue and a second minyan also came to pray there, the chazon from the second minyan is forbidden to stand in the same place as the chazon from the first minyan, for this is disrespectful to the first [minyan. This applies only] if the members of the first minyan have not left the synagogue.

Similarly, if the first minyan took out a Torah scroll to read from, the second minyan should not take out a Torah scroll to read in the same synagogue. Nevertheless, in many communities, no attention is paid to these matters. In practice, everything follows the custom of the community.

15. . The inhabitants of a city may enforce [rules intended to motivate] one another to build a synagogue or a house of study and to purchase sacred texts to study. Similarly, in a place where there is no regular minyan, the community members may employ fines to compel one another to attend the minyan regularly, so that the daily service will not be nullified. Even if [attendence at this minyan] will cause the scholars to cancel their study, they should be compelled to attend the minyan. The time designated for Torah is one matter, and the time for prayer, another.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 
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