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Jul 5, 1998 - 21:10 -

I have a question:
I am not Jewish, but in talking to a number of friends the other day I was intrigued by the concept of the Minyan. As I understand it it's a form of community prayer conducted by at least ten people (sometimes women are allowed to participate and sometimes individuals close to their Bar/Bat Mitzvah can be included). What no-one knew was why 10 is the minimum number as against 8 or 12. Does 10 have mystical significance? -- or is it related to the structure of the various prayers that are used? Thanks for your help -- I will pass on the answer to my friends. Martin

About me: Martin Donaldson
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How I found this site: By searching the Internet using Altavista

Thanks for your question, Martin.

Ten adult men are sufficient to represent the entire nation, based on Biblical narrative.  Ten is the number of righteous men that, had they existed, would have been sufficient to redeem all of Sodom and Gemorrah during Abraham's negotiation with God.  Ten is also the number of unrightous men (among the twelve spies) whose evil report of the Land caused the entire nation to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness.

--- Jordan