By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
The spiritual growth of the Torah community in the past few decades has created interesting new quandaries. There is one quandary, brought about by this growth, that many shuls are now facing. Should a shul with an on-going weekday minyan, establish a weekday Vasikin Minyan as well? The following article discusses the Pros and Cons.
1] There is a concept called Zrizim makdimim l’Mitzvos — and it would give more people opportunities to fulfill this.
2] There is a concept called Mitzvah min HaMuvchar — and it would give more people opportunities to fulfill this.
3] The Gemorah (Brachos 9b) tells us that whomsoever davens vasikin — he will not come to be harmed that day.
4] The Gemorah further tells (ibid) us that one who does so is assured that he has a place in the world to come.
5] The Gemorah in Avodah Zarah (4a) indicates that with the rising of the sun there is a period of Divine anger, so to speak. Davening at this time, yira’ucha im hashemesh minimizes this Divine anger (see Shemen Rosh of Vienner Rav, Parshas Noach). See also Yevamos 64a, where Tzaddikim accomplish this (see also Ramban in intro to Milchemes that Vasikin people are Tzaddikim). A Vasikin minyan will allow more people to minimize this anger.
6] According to the way the Mekubalim understand the Arizal’s Sefer HaKavanos (old edition page 50) there is no greater Maaleh- (ideal) than davening Vasikin.
7] The Ramban in his introduction to the Milchamos of Meseches Brachos states that a Tzaddik is one who davens vasikin.
8] The Mishna Brurah in his Biur Halacha (34:2 Yaniach) writes that if someone could have performed a Mitzvah in an ideal fashion and didn’t is somewhat in violation of Bal Sigra — taking away from the Torah.
9] The Gemorah in Shabbos (63a) states that whomsoever fulfills a Mitzvah k’ma’marah (in its ideal way) even if Hashem had enacted a decree it will be torn up.
10] It has remarkable powers of Tefilah as seen from the Maharsha’s understanding of Chizkiyahu HaMelech (Brachos 10b). Chizkiyahu’s prayer was only answered (See Malachim II 20:5) because he davened Vasikin (according to the Maharsha cited in Binyan Av p. 368), even though his righteousness was such that the Gemorah in Sanhedrin (94b) tells us that every child was fully fluent in the intricate details of Tumah and Tahara.
1] It could jeopardize the general minyan, and certainly would weaken it. This would lessen the B’rov am hadras melech — the greater the people is the greater glory to the King. The weekday minyan was first.
2] It could possibly cause a scheduling and parking nightmare.
3] It could possibly adversely affect the Daf Yomi and or other Shiurim.
4] It could cause people to establish a “holier-than-thou” attitude.
5] It might be a bit of a stumbling block to those that have a tendency toward OCD behavior.
6] Many fathers will not be davening with their children on Shabbos
7] As a result of #6, few friends of the Bar Mitzvah boy will be attending his Bar Mitzvah.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org