Shabbos Minyan of Mechalelai Shabbos


One of my many business travels recently brought me to a small town that has only one synagogue that identifies as orthodox. Like any other orthodox synagogue, it has a mechitza. But besides the rabbi and maybe one or two others, everyone drives there on Shabbos. The shul is only able to get a minyan because of people violating Shabbos. They have chazzanim and Torah readers who drive there on Shabbos. And to get a mincha minyan, the rabbi asked a non-observing member to use his phone to call others and beg them to come. This is just what the meager number of Jews in this town are like. Is there any problem benefiting from a minyan that exists only because people are mechalel Shabbos? Obviously this rabbi doesn’t think so, but I’d like another opinion.



  1. I do not think that there is a problem, per se, with davening with such a Minyan. In truth, perhaps the appearance of Shomrei Shabbos businessmen passing through can actually be a source of inspiration for those who live there. One thing, however, which sounds incorrect, is asking a Jew to make phone calls on Shabbos to muster up a Minyan for Mincha. As a rule, it is forbidden to ask a fellow Jew to do something that is forbidden to do on Shabbos. This is so even if the Jew will be using his phone anyway.

    Best wishes from the Team