Rav Avigdor Miller on Davening With a Minyan
Is there anything wrong with davening without a minyan as long as I say kriyas shema in the right time?
Let me explain to you what I’ve said before. When you daven with a minyan you’re identifying with the Klal Yisroel. You know, our tefillos are all plural. We don’t say, רפאני השם – Heal me, Hashem; We say, רפאנו השם – Heal us. And we say ברוך אתה השם רופא חולי עמו ישראל. We daven for all of the cholei Yisroel. That’s such an important element and it must be emphasized. It’s a form of identifying with the Am Yisroel – we are together; we’re all one.
Even when you put on your hat in the morning and you make the bracha עוטר ישראל בתפארה – Thank You Hashem for crowning Yisroel with glory, or when you put on a belt and you say אוזר ישראל בגבורה – You crown Yisroel with power. Girding a belt gives you power; it’s a sign of strength. So you see that you mention Yisroel, Yisroel, Yisroel. You’re identifying with your people – we’re all together.
And therefore, when it comes to tefillah, not only the words should show togetherness but physically you should be together. The least you can do is go to a minyan. The minyan represents the Klal Yisrael. To a certain extent, the Shechina is there too and you’re joining in with the Am Yisroel. But when you daven in your home, that’s a demonstration that you’re not interested in identifying.
Now, in case you’re not able to, in case you have to go to work at a certain time, so there are extenuating circumstances; but there’s no question that davening with a minyan ought to be a regular part of a loyal Jew’s routine because it’s an important form of showing he belongs to Hakodosh Boruch Hu by means of identifying with those people who are gathering together to serving Him.