At All Costs? Making Minyan
After a stint in yeshivah in Jerusalem, “Nathan” was back in the United States, working as an investment banker at a major financial advisory and asset management firm. His high-pressure job made it very difficult for him to
get out to daven minchah with a minyan, especially since there were no shuls near his office in downtown Chicago. Travel time back and forth plus the time in shul was just too long for him to be away. One day Nathan did venture out to minchah in shul. He was almost finished davening when his cell phone rang with a call from his boss. “Nathan, where are you?” he asked. Very hesitantly, Nathan said, “At prayers.” “Get back here and pray a different time!” the boss retorted. As we see from “Nathan’s” story, the question of davening with a minyan may involve more than just getting to shul. On the one hand, we are obligated to daven with a minyan, and on the other, a salaried worker (po’el) is obligated to give his employer his money’s worth the entire time he is on the job. In this case, Nathan was a po’el, a salaried worker who was paid for his time. Which takes precedence: his obligation to his employer, or the obligation to daven with a minyan? Was he allowed to slip out of the office for minchah in shul?