What Is a Jewish Minyan?


Quick Answer

A minyan is a group of at least 10 Jewish men aged 13 and over that are needed for public worship. Sometimes minyan is used to describe any act of communal worship.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Minyan is a term that comes from the Hebrew word meaning to count or number. The number required to make a minyan is a reminder of the 10 spies who returned to Moses and said that Canaan was unconquerable. Jews believe that if there are enough people gathered to make a minyan then God stands with them.

Traditionally only men could form a minyan. If only nine men were present a 12-year-old boy could join to make up the numbers. Reform and Conservative Judaism allow women to be included in a minyan.

Some acts of worship such as wedding blessings, recitals of the Kaddish or public readings from the Torah and Haftarah cannot happen without the presence of a minyan.

Learn more about Judaism

Related Questions