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The Afternoon Prayers

The Afternoon Prayers

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Minchah (the afternoon prayer service) is prayed relatively early to allow everyone ample time to return home to eat the separation meal. Clad in holiday finery, everyone makes their way to the Minchah services.

Click here to find afternoon services closest to you.

Lashes

Before Minchah, it is customary for all men to receive "lashes." These symbolic lashes humble the recipient and remind him to repent.

The recipient faces north and kneels. Using a leather strap or belt, the one administering the lashes lightly "whips" (taps) his back 39 times. The first tap on the right shoulder, the second on the left shoulder, the third on the small of the back, and then this pattern continues until all 39 have been administered.

While the lashes are being dealt, both the administrator and the recipient recite the following verse three times – the verse contains thirteen words, one word per lash:

והוא רחום יכפר עון ולא ישחית והרבה להשיב אפו ולא יעיר כל חמתו

("But He is merciful, He wipes away iniquity and does not destroy; many times He takes back His wrath and does not arouse all His anger.")

Charity

It is customary to give tzedakah (charity) generously and liberally on the day before Yom Kippur; tzedakah is a great source of merit and serves as protection against harsh decrees.

When the Rebbe would enter the synagogue for the afternoon services of this day, he would have a bag of coins in his hands. The tables were laid with scores, perhaps hundreds, of charity plates, running the gamut from food for the needy and assistance for needy brides, to schools and mitzvah campaigns, and more. Deliberately and methodically, the Rebbe would place a coin in each of the plates, without missing a single one.

The Prayer

During the afternoon prayers, the Ashamnu and Al Chet confession prayers are recited before the conclusion of the Amidah prayer (though not by the prayer leader when he repeats the Amidah). These central Yom Kippur prayers will be repeated many times in the course of the holy day.

The Tachanun (penitential prayers) and the Avinu Malkeinu are omitted from the prayers.

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