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Minchah—Afternoon Prayer

Minchah—Afternoon Prayer

Time Out!

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It’s a hectic world out there, and you don’t want to go it alone. First thing in the day, talk with The Boss. When it’s done at night, debrief again. And in the middle of it all, while the traffic still rages, the phones won’t leave you in peace, the kids are tugging at you for their attention, and adrenalin races through every vein—for that, there’s Minchah.

It takes courage to tell the world to stop while you chat with its Maker. And that’s just what makes it so powerful. They say Elijah the Prophet was answered only in his Minchah prayer—because that’s the prayer for which we make the biggest sacrifices.

We inherited the custom of an afternoon prayer from Isaac, the second of the patriarchs. It also serves in lieu of the afternoon sacrifice and incense offered daily in the Holy Temple on behalf of the people.

When?

We inherited the custom of an afternoon prayer from Isaac, the second of the patriarchsFrom approximately half an hour after midday until sunset. Missed the deadline? You can still pray Minchah until nightfall. Click here for exact times.

With a minyan (prayer group), you’ll need about 15 minutes. On your own, about half that.

Where?

Minchah minyans are popping up everywhere these days: synagogues, offices, storefronts, restaurants, airport lobbies. Can’t get ten men together? Face Jerusalem from wherever you are, even right opposite your kitchen sink or living-room sofa, and make it a private call.

How?

Wash your hands and open your prayerbook/​BlackBerry/​Palm Pilot/​iPhone, or memory.

Minchah moves from passages related to the daily afternoon service in the Holy Temple into Ashrei (Psalm 145), building up to the nineteen-blessing amidah (silent prayer) recited standing while facing Jerusalem. It concludes with brief penitential prayers (omitted on festive days and occasions) and the “Aleinu” hymn.

When there are ten men, kaddish is recited, and the leader repeats the amidah aloud while the rest answer “Amen.”

For special days (e.g. Shabbat, holidays, fast days), there are special variations. Sometimes the Torah is read. Sometimes certain prayers are added.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Rochel Chein for chabad.org June 12, 2012

To Laura Women should ideally pray the afternoon service - mincha - unless overriding family obligations necessitate a shorter prayer. Reply

laura swift London, UK June 10, 2012

Do women pray minchah? Reply

Herbert Horwitz St. Thomas, USVI via jewishvirginislands.com February 3, 2012

Minyan Davening with a minyan is fine, but actually as I am not as fast a reader as most minyanim, I have no problem davening alone. Living on an island as we do, it was years before a Chabad came here, so there was no other option. Reply

Sarah Masha W Bld, MI/USA January 31, 2012

Yminah Firstly, you need a Siddur. (Hebrew and whatever language you understand best.) This book will take you through most days' prayer requirements. However, while there are instructions in most Siddurim, they are more reminders than fully informative. So contact your local Chabad and a class can be arranged. Discuss if you only want one or two sessions on just what pages you need to do, or a more in depth class covering each paragraph, when to say it and what it means. You should bring your own Siddur and be prepared to write notes in it.

There are lots of men who don't make it to minyan, or only make it seasonally. You should absolutely be praying each morning, afternoon, and evening, with or without a minyan.

Which prayers are obligatory is a matter of opinion, so contact your rabbi. Reply

yminoh Columbus, OH January 29, 2012

additional info I cannot make it to a minyan. Can anyone provide detail on the 'How' would I pray Shacharit and Maariv alone? Reply

Toronto, ON, Canada January 29, 2012

thank you Chabad.org is critical to my learning process, thank you for this and all the material, simply thank you :) Reply

Bernard(Baruch)Yablin,MD Rochester, NY January 29, 2012

Mincha When I was in Japan I should have faced West to daven. Reply

Ashley Yorktown, IN January 17, 2012

Great Joy To someone who is slowly reclaiming her Jewish roots, these Mitzvah minutes are of so much value. Thank you so much to the entire Chabad community for helping me along this journey. Reply

Sarah Masha W Bloomfield, MI/USA November 11, 2009

Which way is east? To find east try these suggestions:
Keep a compass with your siddur.
Use the compass display on your car.
Find the sun in the sky. For shacharit, face the sun, for mincha the sun should be at your back. If in a room with a window, but the sun is not visible, use the shadows of objects outdoors.
In the US, building numbers frequently go up from a central point (For example, 123 East Main is west of 321 East Main)

Remember, one faces Jerusalem, so while in Eastern Asia, face west, If near Golan Heights and Tsfat, face south, etc. Reply

Julie Mallen Flemington, NJ June 9, 2009

Time for prayer leads us to a life of peace Thank you! Loved what you wrote. it is like that old saying I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray!!!

Many Blessings
Shalom Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario June 8, 2009

Re: Ten Men?!!! So a man has to look for 9 other men to do a proper Minchah. You simply have to find a conducive space and frame of mind.

Try reading this piece: Women in the Synagogue: An Answer to the Controversy. Reply

diana gainer Half Moon Bay, CA June 8, 2009

Minchah It was only me, a woman, and my book, and I had no idea which direction Jerusalem was from this house I'm staying at, so I just guessed. But it did my heart good to read that message from Chabad and that Psalm. My soul was singing by the time I finished. I'm sure G-d heard. Thank you. Reply

Michael St. Paul, MN June 8, 2009

So simple! I just started getting the Mitzvah minute. How powerful in the simplicity; with a brief outline, I am inspired to try and make this a part of my day. As the only jew at work, I'll be praying alone, but that's okay. Now I'll look for the English for all those parts of the Minchah... Reply

Rene Rose Vermont June 8, 2009

Ten Men?!!! I so enjoy reading many of Chabad's messages but when I'm faced with the ten Men aspect of the minyan I'm profoundly alienated. Please know I've been pleased to do Minchah and speak to my Maker, men and/or woman included, i.e. all of us who have been created in G-d's image. I'm so saddened by this continued exclusion of women Reply

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