102.Resp. Igrot Moshe, supra, note 99; see also II, sec. 27; Piskei Teshuot, I, sec. 90, p. 693, no. 8. There are, however, posekim who argue that tefilla be-tsibbur has priority over kavvana, not because public prayer is obligatory, but rather because it is a more preferable form of hiddur mitsvah. See, for example, R. Bahyei ben Asher Ibn Halawe, Pirkei Avot II:5, s.v. “Hillel omer al tifrosh min ha-tsibbur” (we thank R. Aharon Lichtenstein for bringing this reference to our attention); R. David Zvi Zehman, Resp. Kav Zahav, I, sec. 1; Resp. Yaskil Avdi, supra, note 99. See also infra, note 244, regarding the view of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik in this regard. Similarly, there are posekim who argue that tefilla be-tsibbur has priority over kavvana because we generally lack proper kavvana nowadays; see: Resp. Teshuvot veHanhagot, III, sec. 33; Resp. Birkhot Shamayim, O.H., secs. 40 and 41.
Whether, in fact, tefilla be-tsibbur is obligatory for men or merely a hiddur mitsvah (or mitsva min-ha-muvhar) is a subject of some debate. See the sources cited by: R. Isaac Yosef, Yalkut Yosef, She’eirit Yosef, Part II, sec. 70, p. 330ff; and R. Isaac Jacob Fuchs, Tefilla beTsibbur (Jerusalem: n.p., 1978), Introduction, sec. 4 (some of the sources cited are clearly not conclusive and are open to other interpretations). As indicated, R. Feinstein, supra, note 99, maintains that communal prayer for men is a rabbinic obligation. This view also appears in Arukh haShulhan, O.H. sec. 90, nos. 20-21; Resp. Tiferet Moshe, supra, note 85; Avnei Yashfe—Hilkhot Tefilla, sec. 6, no. 11, note 16; R. Chaim Kanievsky, Orhot Yosher, sec. 30, p. 94; and Resp. Mishne Halakhot, Mahadura Tinyana, I, O.H. sec. 66 and 67. See as well: the comments of Rabbis Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, Joseph Shalom Elyashiv and David Kornglass as reported by R. Aryeh Zev Ginzberg in Resp. Divrei Hakhamim, O.H. sec. 6, no. 96; Shevet haLevi, VI, sec. 21, no. 3; Piskei Teshuot, I, sec. 90, p. 689, no. 8.
Many other leading authorities, however, differ, maintaining that tefilla be-tsibbur is merely a hiddur mitsvah (or mitsva min-ha-muvhar). See: references cited supra in first paragraph of this note; R. Israel Moses Hazzan, Kerakh Shel Romi, sec. 6 and 7; commentary of R. Shalom Moses Hai Gagin, Yeri’ot haOhel to R. Samuel Yarondi’s Ohel Moed, Sha’ar Keriat Shema, Derekh Shelishi, Netiv Dalet, no. 4, s.v. “VaAni haPa’ut” and Sha’ar Tefilla, Derekh Revi’i, Netiv Alef, no. 23 at end; R. Joseph Elijah Henkin, Lev Ivra, pp. 158-159; R. Aryeh Pomeronchik, Eimek Berakha, Birkhot Keriat Shema, no. 1, pp. 7-8; R. Menahem Mendel Kasher, Torah Sheleima, XV, Yitro, addenda, sec. 5, reprinted in Resp. Divrei Menahem, I, sec. 29; R. Benjamin Joshua