‘Number’, the quorum of ten males over the age of 13 for communal prayer and the reading of the Torah with the benedictions. Where no minyan is present in the synagogue some of the prayers can still be recited but not the Kaddish, the Kedushah and the Cantor's repetition of the Amidah (see EIGHTEEN BENEDICTIONS). The Torah may be read even where no minyan is present but the benedictions over the reading must not then be recited. From Talmudic times it was considered especially meritorious to be among the first ten in the synagogue for the daily prayers. Some synagogues hire poor men to come there in order to make up the minyan. These are known as ‘minyan men’. Many Reform Jews ignore altogether the need for a minyan and recite the prayers no matter how few are present. Conservative Rabbis now rule that women can be counted in the minyan as well as men.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.