Monday, April 07, 2008

Purim Torah

(Sorry it's so late.)

There is a phenomenon called the "breakaway minyan" in which a few people from a large community leave the synagogue and start a separate minyan, in competition with the main minyan. This is frowned upon by gabbais and others, one of the reasons being the halachic principle "Berov am hadrat melech", the King is best honored in the presence of "rov am".

However, it is easy to show that "Berov am hadrat melech" actually means the opposite, that you are REQUIRED to have breakaway minyans! How? At the end of the megillah we read that Mordechai was "ratzui lerov echav", and this is interpreted as "approved by MOST of his brethren". That is to say, a minority of the Jews disapproved with Mordechai.

When we apply this understanding of the term "rov" to the minyan issue, we reach a stunning conclusion: "Berov am hadrat melech" means that "the King is best honored in the presence of MOST of the people". Not all of them! It actually honors God more if there is at least one breakaway minyan. So those shuls where everyone davens together are halachically require to start at least one nasty disagreement which will cause the community to split and some people to pray elsewhere. This shouldn't be so hard, most of us want to do this anyway, right?

1 comment:

Tzvi Feifel said...

excellent...thanks for the heter!