FAQ’s on Tefillas Mincha




    Chalukas Shas 5784

    FAQ’s on Tefillas Mincha

    In connection to last week’s parsha that discusses the life of Yitzchok Avinu, we present a collection of halachic essays and Q&A’s on the prayer Yitzchok established – Mincha. By HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, Mara D’Asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights • Full Article

    Mincha Gedola: All about Davening an Early Mincha

    Some people prefer to daven Mincha at the earliest possible time. There is a discussion in poskim whether it is preferable to daven mincha gedola (early mincha) or mincha ketana (late mincha— after 9.5 halachic “hours” of the day have passed). Either way, the consensus is that mincha gedola is an acceptable practice, certainly for people whose schedule makes it difficult for them to daven later.

    However, it is important to be aware that one may not daven Mincha until a half-hour after chatzos (midday). The Alter Rebbe writes that if one davened Mincha before that time, they have not fulfilled their obligation and have to daven Mincha again at the proper time.

    In general, in matters of Torah we say, “Ee efshar l’tzamtzeim” (it is impossible to be precise), and consequently there are poskim who say that one should always allow a bit of leeway for halachos involving time—in case the time was calculated incorrectly. Therefore, it is important to ensure that one does not start to daven Mincha precisely a half-hour after chatzos, but a few minutes later.

    In fact, there is a discussion as to how to calculate this half-hour: whether it is an actual half-hour (by the clock) or a halachic half hour (1/24th of the total daylight hours on that particular day).

    There is also a discussion among later authorities about whether the korbanos said before Mincha may be said before the half-hour after chatzos has passed. However, from the Siddur HaRamak (Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s siddur), it is very clear that according to Kabbalah, one should wait to say the korbanos until after that half-hour has passed. Halacha2Go #358

    Q. Is mincha gedola half a halachic hour after chatzos or 30 minutes?

    A. Most opinions maintain it is a halachic hour, but some disagree. It’s prudent to be stringent both ways. #31633*

    Korbanos & Kriah before the time of Mincha Gedola

    Q. At our shul, we usually daven Mincha after Kiddush on Shabbos afternoon. But now mincha gedola is an hour later due to time change. Can we start saying korbanos, ashrei, Kriyas haTorah – before mincha gedola and then start Shemone Esrei by time of mincha gedola?

    A. There are different opinions on the matter, see below in the Hebrew references. There are strong arguments in favor of waiting till the time of mincha gedola for korbanos and Kriah too.

    Taking into account that the Alter Rebbe is of the opinion that bedieved if one davened Mincha before the time of mincha gedola, even if it was after chatzos, he isn’t yotzei and must daven again (other opinions are lenient in this case) and the fact that it’s only an issue of a couple of minutes or an issue of inconvenience, it’s highly recommended not to rely on the lenient opinions.

    This is particularly true when it comes to Kriah, where it involves also potential brachos l’vatala (though this last point is highly debatable).

    Additionally, it should be noted that according to Kabbalah, all parts of Mincha should take place after the time of mincha gedola. #3302*

    Davening before Shkiah or with a Minyan?

    Q. It takes me approximately four minutes to daven Shemone Esrei. If I’m ready now to daven alone before shkiah and waiting for the next minyan will cause me to daven after shkiah, do I wait for the minyan to form and daven after shkiah? Or daven alone before shkiah?

    A. You should try your best to start davening earlier. In case you were unable to daven beforehand, most poskim maintain that you should daven without a minyan in order to daven before sof zman tefilla.

    One who waits for a minyan has what to rely on, if they were busy with preparing for davening beforehand and their davening will be with more kavana. Indeed, Chassidim follow the position that davening with more kavana overrides davening before sof zman tefilla. #19514*

    Q. Do I have to have kavana by “poseiach es yadecha” also in the Ashrei said before Uva L’tziyon and at Mincha?

    A. Of course, ideally one has to have kavana.But if one didn’t, there is no obligation to repeat it, although it is meritorious to do so (unlike Pesukei D’zimrah where one must repeat this passuk if he did not have kavana). #21038*

    Q. Should I say korbanos before Mincha even if I’ll miss the minyan? How about Hodu and Pasach Eliyahu on Friday?

    A. Strictly speaking, according to halacha one should daven with the minyan and say korbanos afterwards, however, the Rebbe writes that this “heter” should not be taught to the youth lest they get into the habit of skipping. Generally, it is not our minhag to skip, even for the purpose of tefilla b’tzibur.

    However, one should skip Hodu and Pasach Eliyahu on Erev Shabbos if there is no other minyan available.#18333*

    Q. Is there a halacha prohibiting the use of a tallis during Mincha?

    A. No, it is a matter of custom [based on Kabbalah]. However, there are clear sources against wearing a tallis during Maariv.. #9309*

    Q. I sometimes daven Mincha at a shul that doesn’t say Tachanun, should I be saying it myself?

    A. When davening Mincha with that minyan you may skip tachanun. However, if at all possible, you should say it privately in a way that’s not noticeable. #17447*

    *References are available for this Halacha on the websites: www.Halacha2Go.com and www.AskTheRav.com


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    FAQ’s on Tefillas Mincha