Q. You mentioned (See question 2771 above) that if the adjoining neighbors can see each other through a mechitza (partition or fence) such as a glass you can make a minyan only for reciting kaddish and davening a short shemonezreih, I have some questions.
Many neighbors have separating chain link fences fences, that one can see through them. do they have those same restrictions? Maybe since they would not be a proper mechitza for a shul or for sefarim in a marital bedroom maybe they don’t count for separating a minyan?
If they do, how high can those chain link fences be to counted as a mechitza? Is a mechitza less than ten tefachim counted as such for separating a minyan?
A. As mentioned in the question above. Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 55:14), maintains that anyone who is visible, even if he is in a different domain, can be counted. As Beis Yosef quotes from Orchos Chaim, Rav Hai Gaon and the Rashbo. He adds it applies even if only some can see him. He compares it tof zimun when three people recite birchas hamazon after a meal (O. U. 195:1). However, Sheyorei Knesses HaGedolah, Hagaho’os on the Beis Yosef 6, maintains that according to the Shulchan Aruch, only if one brings his face into the space of the window he can he be counted. (See Kaf HaChaim 55: 70).
Mishnah Berurah (55: 52) rules in principle according to the lenient opinion, and therefore, one who davens in the women’s section, if his face is visible, is counted as part of the minyan. However, he writes that lechatchilah one should follow the stringent opinion, and enter the shul in order to complete the minyan.
Mishna Berura (55: 49) also quotes Pri Chodosh that if the mechitza stands only for tznius and modesty and not as a davening permitting partition, one behind it could be counted for minyan. One may reason that a chain link fence, since it is not a permitting screen, just a property divider, does not constitute a mechitza for minyan either.
Although one may also argue that a chain link fence is in principle not any worse than a glass mechitza. since one can see through it, Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a quoted that Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a maintains that it does divide the minyan if it is ten tefachim high (approximately 1.m), for the purpose of reciting Chazaras Ha’shatz as mentioned above.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a