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Q&A

Are there any sources for counting Druze men as part of a Jewish minyan?

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I was talking to a Druze friend of mine a couple weeks ago, and the topic turned to religion. My friend is fairly knowledgeable about a lot of religion-related things (including for the Druze religion, Judaism, and Islam), and to my surprise he told me that technically Druze men can count in a Jewish minyan and that he's even done so a few times (in an Orthodox setting).

I presume this has to do with the origin of the Druze and the way that they count people as Druze or not (both of the parents have to be Druze for the kid to be Druze). However, I was unable to find any halachic sources for counting Druze men for minyan.

Are there any sources that back up what my friend told me?

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+5
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One possible cause of confusion:

In Israel, Muslim men do not have compulsory military service (and relatively few volunteer), but Jewish and Druze men do; most Druze men in Israel serve in the military. A group of Jews forming a minyan who were not aware of this might well count any man in an IDF uniform.

(I have personally seen someone make this assumption; I assume it is a more likely error among visitors to Israel.)

This does not touch on the question of "do Druze men count to a halachic minyan" but does answer the underlying question of "why would someone think Druze can be counted" and the question asked in a comment of "is this merely hypothetical."

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+3
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Basically it would appear that the Druze are an offshoot of Islam. The only reason that someone would accept a Druze as part of a minyan would be if they claimed to be Jewish. It appears from the description of Druze that they do not claim to be Jewish. If he had been accepted in a minyan, it would only be because the people there thought he was Jewish.

The description states that they do not accept converts at all.

Wikipedia says

The Druze (/druːz/;[18] Arabic: درزي‎ darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz; Hebrew: דְּרוּזִי‎ drūzī plural דְּרוּזִים‎, druzim) are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group[19] originating in Western Asia who self-identify as The People of Monotheism (Al-Muwaḥḥidūn).[20] Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of the Druze, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet.[21][22][23][24][25] It is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Zeno of Citium.[26][27]

The Epistles of Wisdom is the foundational text of the Druze faith.[28] The Druze faith incorporates elements of Isma'ilism, a branch of Shia Islam,[29] Gnosticism,[30][31] Christianity,[30][31] Zoroastrianism,[32][33] Buddhism,[34][35] Hinduism,[36][37] Neoplatonism,[30][31] Pythagoreanism,[36][37] and other philosophies and beliefs, creating a distinct and secretive theology based on an esoteric interpretation of scripture, which emphasises the role of the mind and truthfulness.[20][37] Druze believe in theophany and reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul.[38] Druze believe that at the end of the cycle of rebirth, which is achieved through successive reincarnations, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind (al-ʻaql al-kullī).[39]

Even though the faith originally developed out of Isma'ilism, Druze do not identify as Muslims.[40][41][42] Druze are theologically distinct from Muslims due to their eclectic system of doctrines,[43][42] such as the belief in theophany and reincarnation, and they do not accept nor follow the five pillars of Islam.[42]

The Druze community played a critically important role in shaping the history of the Levant, where it continues to play a significant political role. As a religious minority in every country in which they are found, they have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes.[44] Most recently, Druze were targeted by Islamic extremists.[45][46] The Druze faith is one of the major religious groups in the Levant, with between 800,000 and a million adherents. They are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, with small communities in Jordan. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze (literally the "Mountain of the Druzes").[47] The Druze's social customs differ markedly from those of Muslims and today's more urbanized Christians. They are known to form close-knit, cohesive communities which do not fully allow non Druzes in, though they themselves integrate fully in their adopted homelands.

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