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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Laws of Yom Kippur

Who counts in a Minyan on Yom Kippur


Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

Tishrei 6, 5770
I have a major dilemma. Recently I have become an acting Rabbi for a small community though I do not have Smicha. My problem arises because of the nature of the community. It is largely elderly people, and there are some from a rehab center down the road. My issue is that I cannot be certain that I will have a minyan where I can be certain that ten of them are fasting on Yom Kippur due to taking medication or from issues related to previous addictions etc. Now- I could simply refrain from asking and make the assumption that people are fasting in order to have the minyan- or am I obligated to check that the ten men actually are fasting and possibly not have a minyan for Yom Kippur? As a side note- if they are not fasting due to illness etc could they still be counted into the minyan since it is involuntary? G’mar Chatimah Tovah
There is no need to change aspects of the dovening if there is not a Minyan fasting. Rabbi Akiva Eiger poses the question if one who is not fasting can get an aliya at Mincha of Yom Kippur. The issue is: if the Torah reading stems from the kedusha of Yom Kippur, then one need not be fasting; if it stems from the din of Torah reading on a fast day, then the rule that one not fasting does not get an aliya. In your case, since we are faced with at most a derabanan question, and there is an issue of Kavod Hatzibbur and Kavod habriyot, there is no necessity to ascertain whether a Minyan is fasting or even whether the particular person is fasting. However, if you know a particular person is not fasting I would refrain from giving him an aliya at Mincha, as long as it will cause no embarassment.
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