Q. A group of five neighbors that share different sides and corners of their back yards, with one standing in the middle. He wants to organize a minyan during these critical covid times. Since each family has one or several bar mitzva children and they are all staying home because of the required separation. They are considering while the fathers and boys of each family remains each in their own backyard,as they are supposed to do, to join as they are in a minyan together.
Altough there are fences between the properties, since the children play all the time together, there are wide breaches in them and they can clearly see each other through them. Besides, the fences are mainly only four feet high and are chain link material. Can they be mitztaref (Halachikali join together) and daven with a minyan? Can a neighbor that can only see the middle backyard when standing on his porch and watching over a wooden fence also be counted as part of the minyan?
The fact that one family just returned from over the border and they have to keep quarantine. affect the tzifuf and joining of the minyan?
A. Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that although there are dissenting opinions, in times of need even if the fence is tall and one can only see the other participants when standing on his porch, and watching over a wooden fence, he can still be part of the minyan.
A person in quarantine can also join by watching from his property, as Horav Pam Shlit’a commented, “he is not in nidui (excommunicated).”
The Rov stressed that no other people or guest that are not the constant inhabitants living in those houses with neighboring backyards are allowed join the minyan. The dwellers and their children should strongly avoid crossing over the fences or even coming close to them to talk to the neighbors. They should clearly stay away from the fences.
However, they may accept or even offer to recite kaddish for those unable to come to a minyan.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a.