Ethics

For the week ending 1 November 2008 / 3 Heshvan 5769

Getting a Tenth Man

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: In my place of work we try to maintain a daily minyan for the mincha service. Although most of the participants are people from the office in which I work there sometimes arises a need to ask someone from a neighboring office to join us. There is, however, a hesitation to do so without permission from the other fellow's boss. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Your hesitation is right on mark. Our Sages give special dispensations in regard to prayers and blessings to employees in order to avoid their depriving their employer from the time for which they are being paid.

If you cannot get the boss himself to join your minyan, at least make sure that he consents to his employee's temporary absence from his desk. It has even been suggested in the case of an uncooperative boss to offer him payment for the time lost. Even if you don't actually end up paying such a relatively small sum of money the offer itself may succeed in gaining the approval needed.

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