Requirement to Daven With a Tzibur


I spent this past Shabbos out of town and went to a shul I picked at random where I had never been. The rabbi’s sermon was about the importance of davening with a tzibur. He said a man who neglects to daven with a tzibur without a good reason has violated a negative commandment and therefore sinned. Is that really true? I always understood before that it is a positive commandment to daven with a tzibur, but not a violation of a negative one to skip. I rarely go to shul on weekdays because my work schedule does not allow. I only go on Shabbos and Yom Tov and occasionally on Sunday and civil holidays.



  1. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 90:9) writes that a person should “make an effort” (yishtadel) to daven with a minyan. Note that he does not write “one must.” Because of this, some deduce that it is meritorious but not obligatory to daven with a minyan. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggrot Moshe Orach Chaim 2:27) states that there is an obligation and one should not deduce anything less from the Shulchan Aruch. Even those who disagree with Rav Moshe agree that, at the very least, the Shulchan Aruch requires that “one make a significant effort” to daven with a minyan. Rav Moshe Feinstein also rules that one should daven in shul with a minyan even if he would have more Kavanah (concentration and intent) if he davens privately at home!

    But, having said that, is one transgressing a negative commandment by not davening with the Tzibur? I am not familiar with such a concept. Even allowing for the fact that there might be such a ruling all authorities agree that if one cannot get to daven with a minyan because, by doing so, it will cause a monetary loss, they are exempt from doing so. If, however, it will “only” cause a person to earn less profit then they should daven with the Tzibur and absorb the loss.

    Best wishes from the Team