Zoom Minyan

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Dear Rabbi Simon
When we connect with one another for prayers in a virtual space (e.g. Zoom, Skype, etc.) and we can each see nine other men, why doesn’t it count as a valid minyan?
Kind regards
Benjy

Dear Benjy,
TY for your question. The answer is that in order to constitute a quorum (minyan), the 10 men have to be in the same space. 5 and 5 (or 9 and 1) even in two rooms in the same building is problematic. Even two sides of a street or thoroughfare is subject to dispute. However, if there are 10 men in a room and an 11th joins via Zoom, he may respond to kedusha, etc., and there are grounds to consider him to be praying with a minyan.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

Questions & Answers
this week

Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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