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Chapter 15: 10-11
Laws Pertaining to Kaddish

10. If only the exact number of people for a minyan are present in a synagogue, it is forbidden for even one of them to leave. The verse [Isaiah 1:28]: "Those who leave G-d may they be destroyed" applies to anyone who leaves.

However, if ten people will remain, the others may leave if they have already heard Borchu, Kedushoh, and the Kaddishim, including the Kaddish after Oleinu [in a previous minyan].

Even though [some of the people included in the quorum departed], so that ten people do not remain, it is still possible to complete any stage of prayer begun with ten people(as long as at least six remain).

For example, if the chazon has begun the repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh, [and some of the minyan leave,] he may conclude the entire Shemoneh Esreh, recite Kedushoh, and also recite Elo-henu V'Elo-hei avoseinu, Borchenu.... [the commemoration of the preistly benediction]. However, the priests themselves should not bless the congregation, and the Kaddish after the Shemoneh Esreh is not recited, for these are considered as other matters.*

* {The Shulchon Oruch HoRav 55:4 and the Mishnoh Beruroh 55:18,19 allow the recitation of the full Kaddish. The fact that this Kaddish includes the request Tiskabel tz'los'hon (Accept the prayers) demonstrates its connection to the Shemoneh Esreh.}

Similarly, if a congregation began reading the Torah with ten people and some left, they may complete the Torah reading. However, they should not add to the number of aliyos, not should they call someone as maftir, Rather, the person who received the last aliyah should recite the haftorah without its blessings.

11<. The chazon should be suited [for this responsibility], as [Jeremiah 12:8] proclaims: "It calls with its voice towards Me; therefore, I hated it," [Ta'anis 16b] states: this refers to a chazon who is not suitable and yet prays before the ark."

What makes a suitable chazon? A person:
* who is devoid of sin;
* who has a pleasant reputation - i.e.,no defamatory traits were ever attributed to him even in his youth;
* who is humble;
* who is acceptable to the community, so that they will agree to his praying on their behalf;
* who has a pleasant and sweet voice that arouse emotion;
* and one who frequently studies the Torah, prophets, and sacred writings, so that the verses mentioned in the payers will be familiar to his lips.
If a person with all these qualities cannot be found, the congregation should choose the best person among them in the spheres of wisdom and good deeds.

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

 


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