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Throughout the year rabbis stress the importance of praying with a Minyan. Why is this the case, especially during the High Holiday Period? I once heard Rabbi Kupetz quote a very good parable from Rabbi Frand that can help us understand this: At the end of year exams in University, the invigilator said to all those sitting the exam, "There are three hours to finish the exam. After that, all papers are to be handed in, otherwise they will be disqualified". Three hours passed and everyone returned their papers besides for one student, who passed the deadline by quarter of an hour. He then approached the invigilator to hand in his paper. The invigilator said to the student "I refuse to accept your paper, because you went overtime." The student remarked, “Do you know who I am?” The invigilator replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care!”. “Are you sure you don’t know who I am?” repeated the student. As the invigilator repeated that he doesn’t have any inkling who he may be, and that even if he did, it wouldn’t make a difference to his decision, the student liftetd up the pile of exam papers off the desk, and placed his exam paper right in the middle amongst all the other papers. He then dropped the pile, quickly remarked to the invigilator that he'd now have a hard job finding his sheet, and made a hasty escape. The same too applies with our prayers, said Rav Frand. If we pray in a Minyan (a congregation of at least ten people), even those that wouldn’t normally merit to have their prayers heard, can slip their requests in together with the requests of the other congregants. Davening in shul with a Minyan, especially during this time of the year can help, (and we all need it!). As we ask ourselves "in what way can we improve ourselves for the coming year", maybe we could consider joining a Shul's Tefillin breakfast each week on a Sunday morning. Maybe that will help our prayers to be heard. With the prayers of the whole congregation together, may we all merit a good and prosperous new year.

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Vort of the Week