Kenneth Cohen

Ten for a Minyan

There are thirteen methods used to derive various laws of the Torah. There is a daily morning prayer in the name of Rabbi Yishmael, where he lists these various method.
All of these methods were given on Mount Sinai, and were passed on from generation to generation.

An example of such a derivation is in the form of a גזירה שוה. This refers to numerous situations where a connection is made by the use of the same word in two different places.

The word, “תוך״,” meaning, “in the midst of, is found in connection with the ten brothers of Yosef. The Pasuk says that the sons of Yisrael were “בתוך” those arriving in Egypt.

The word, “תוך” was also used in this week’s Parsha, when it said, ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל, “I shall be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel.” This גזירה שוה is the source for the need of ten men to make a Minyan.

Words of sanctification, such as Kaddish and Kedusha, can only be said with a quorum of ten men. This would be an example of an Halachic Gezera Shave.
There are also examples of Aggadic Gezera Shaves, that help us understand the narrative and deeper meanings of the Torah.

As one delves deeper into his Torah study, he learns to appreciate that the Torah is the absolute book of truth.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at