Have Questions or Comments?
Leave us some feedback and we'll reply back!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number)

    In Reference to

    Your Message


    I. One Shul, Multiple
    It is now common
    for some shuls to hold
    multiple minyanim at
    different times. The most
    active are open nearly
    24 hours a day, holding
    morning services every
    half hour, alternating rooms so there is no
    overlap, and afternoon and evening services
    every fifteen minutes. Colloquially, they are
    called minyan factories. Even those shuls
    with only three or four morning, afternoon
    and evening services might be called minyan
    factories also. Setting aside questions about
    the proper times for the different minyanim,
    there is another, more basic question to
    address. Is it permissible to hold more than
    one minyan in a shul?
    Rav Yehudah Mintz (15th cen., Italy;
    Responsa Mahari Mintz, no. 15) was asked
    whether after one minyan service is finished,
    another minyan can start for newcomers in
    the same shul. The questioner offered three
    possible reasons why it might not be allowed.
    First, it might seem that people are praying
    to two different g-ds. The first service is to
    one g-d and the second service is to another.
    This was a particular concern in Babylonia,
    the home of the Talmud, where Manichaeans
    believed in a form of dualism. We still retain

    some practices from that time when there was
    a real concern not to imply that we believe
    in dualism. For example, the Mishnah
    and Gemara (Berachos 33b) forbid saying
    “Modim Modim” or “Shema Shema.” For this
    reason, it is improper to sing religious songs
    that repeat G-d’s name (such as “Ribbono
    Shel Olam, Ribbono Shel Olam”). Does this
    also apply to two minyanim in one shul?
    Second, the questioner asked whether this
    violates the prohibition of “lo sisgodedu”?
    The Gemara (Yevamos 13b) interprets this
    to mean that we may not split into different
    factions. Does holding two prayer services
    constitute a forbidden split in the community?
    Third, does it constitute adding to the Torah?
    Since daily prayer corresponds to the daily
    tamid sacrifice in the Temple, does holding
    two prayer services in one synagogue equate
    to offering two morning tamid sacrifices in
    the Temple, which is forbidden?
    II. In Defense of Minyan Factories
    Rav Mintz replies that two minyanim
    are allowed, with one condition. As to the
    possible prohibitions, Rav Mintz explains
    that there is no concern with appearing to
    embrace dualism. The Gemara (Berachos
    50a) considers guests of the exilarch who
    would recite the grace after meals in groups
    of three. Why not in groups of ten, which is
    preferable? Because the exilarch might notice

    groups that large and get upset that they were
    leaving the meal early. The Gemara seems
    unconcerned with the problem of dualism
    if two or more groups recited blessings at
    the same time. It also seems unconcerned
    with the problem of splitting into different
    factions. It is merely a temporary split for
    convenience, nothing more.
    And finally, as long as different people
    are praying, it is not considered like a new
    tamid sacrifice. There is ample precedent for
    individuals who overslept or just arrived in
    town to come to shul after the service is over
    and pray privately. Why not another minyan?
    However, Rav Mintz adds, the shali’ach
    tzibbur who leads the second service should
    not stand in the same place as the shali’ach
    tzibbur for the first service. Doing so implies
    that there was something wrong with the first
    service that necessitates this second minyan.
    Rather, the shali’ach tzibbur for the second
    minyan must stand somewhere else.
    Significantly, Rav Moshe Isserles (16th
    cen., Poland) quotes this ruling in his gloss
    to Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 69:1) but
    says that it only applies if people from the
    first minyan are still in shul. If they have
    all left, then there is no concern that people
    might think the first prayer was defective and
    requires repetition.
    III. The Problem of Multiple Torah
    Rav Avraham Gombiner (17th cen.,
    Poland; Magen Avraham 69:9) quotes
    Rav Shmuel Kalai (16th cen., Greece;
    Responsa Mishpetei Shmuel, no. 3) as
    saying that a second minyan may not use
    the same Torah scroll as the first. It makes
    it seem like there was a problem with the
    Torah scroll the first time it was used so
    they had to remove it again, fix it and then
    read from it.
    Rav Yechezkel Landau (18th cen.,
    Austria; Responsa Noda Bi-Yehudah,
    second rescension, Orach Chaim 15) was
    asked by the new rabbi of Triebitz about
    the practice in his shul. After Shabbos
    morning services are finished, some
    individuals take out the Torah scroll again
    and re-read the Torah portion. He was
    concerned that this violates the rulings of
    Mahari Mintz and Rav Shmuel Kalai. Rav
    Landau responds that, in the synagogue
    in his home in Prague, he personally has
    two services on Shabbos. First the regular
    minyan and, after it finishes, a youth
    minyan. Rav Landau points out that Rav
    Shmuel Kalai was not advocating a strict
    stance prohibiting the use of a Torah scroll
    twice. Rather, he was justifying the custom
    in his city of prohibiting it. His language
    betrays a lack of confidence in the custom
    but he tries to uphold it with a reason.
    There is no implication that others should
    adopt this custom. With this, Rav Landau
    effectively dismisses Rav Gombiner’s
    ruling in Magen Avraham.

    IV. Scheduled Minyanim
    Rav Landau explains that Mahari Mintz’s
    ruling has no real basis in the Talmud and
    codes. However, we can’t simply ignore
    Mahari Mintz or Rema, who quotes him.
    He suggests that Mahari Mintz was only
    discussing an ad hoc second minyan. In such
    a case, the shali’ach tzibbur should stand
    in a different place so as not to imply there
    was something wrong with the first minyan.
    However, this is not necessary for a regularly
    scheduled second minyan. Everyone
    knows why people are praying later and the
    existence of this second minyan does not
    imply anything negative about the previous
    Indeed, Rav Chaim Yosef David Azulai
    (Chida, 18th cen., Israel; Birkei Yosef, Orach
    Chaim 69:4) says that the custom in Egypt in
    his day was to take a Torah scroll out even
    three times for different minyanim, contrary
    to the custom described by Rav Kalai. Rav
    Yosef Shaul Nathanson and Rav Mordechai
    Zev Itinga (19th cen., Ukraine; Magen
    Giborim, Shiltei Ha-Giborim 69:2) reach the
    same conclusion as Rav Landau. Rav Yisrael
    Meir Kagan (20th cen., Poland; Mishnah
    Berurah 69:18) follows them, as well.
    In the end, if a shul plans multiple
    consecutive minyanim, they can proceed in
    the normal way. The shali’ach tzibbur can
    stand in the regular place and the same Torah
    scroll can be used. If there is an unscheduled
    second minyan, there might be some
    restrictions on where the shali’ach tzibbur
    stands. Often, when there is a bar mitzvah in
    a shul, the family might want to pray minchah
    immediately after lunch. This minyan is not
    scheduled but it also comes before, and not
    after, the scheduled minyan. Therefore,
    presumably, none of these restrictions apply.