(U) Siman 232-234: Minchah Prayer

            Siman 232 Seifim 3

1. If time is pressing and there is not enough time to finish shemone esrei the tzibbur should daven silently and then the shaliach tzibbur should recite מחיה ,מגן and then respond to kedusha concluding with הק- ל הקדוש . Some say that the shaliach tzibbur should daven out loud with the tzibbur and this is the custom, see above siman 124:2.

2. One may not sit to have a haircut close to mincha time until he has davened nor may one enter a bathhouse or a בורסקי (The place where hides are treated) or to adjudicate or eat even a small meal close to mincha gedola. If one began one of these activities he need not interrupt even though it was prohibited to begin that activity as long as there will be enough time to daven after the meal or the activity but if there will not be time to daven afterwards one must interrupt immediately. When is the beginning of a haircut? Once the barber’s sheet was placed on his lap, the beginning of bathing is when one removes his outer garment; the beginning of tanning is when one ties his garment between his shoulders in the style of tanners. The beginning of judgment, if they were already adjudicating, is when the litigants begin to present their claims. If they were not already sitting in judgment it is when the judges wrap their heads. For us it is when they sit to adjudicate a case and eating begins when one washes his hands. Other authorities disagree and maintain that a small meal is permitted and only a meal at a wedding or bris is prohibited. Some contend that one may even eat a large meal close to mincha gedolah. Some authorities write that a small meal is permitted even before mincha ketanah. The custom is to be lenient in accordance with these two opinions, meaning, to eat a large meal before mincha gedolah or a small meal before mincha ketanah. Perhaps the reason is that nowadays people are called to come to the Bais HaKnesses and we are not concerned for negligence and one will forget to daven.  One should be stringent regarding a large meal and should not begin even before mincha gedolah. Even if one began the meal earlier when mincha ketanah arrives and the time will pass one must get up and daven.

3. The prohibition against eating a small meal is when one sits for a meal but snacking, meaning to eat fruit is permitted. It is also permitted to eat bread if it is less than the volume of an egg in the manner that people eat food without a meal.

          Siman 233 Seifim 2

1. One who davened mincha after 6 ½ hours into the day has fulfilled his obligation. The primary time is from 9 ½ hours into the day until nightfall according to Rabanan or until plag hamincha which is the end of 10 ¾ hours according to R’ Yehduah. Hours are calculated according to the day and even if the day is long it is divided into 12 parts and each part is a halachic hour ( שעות זמניות ) and this is the method of calculation any time Chazal discuss hours. The Gemara’s conclusion is that one could follow either opinion but one must always follow one of the opinions so if one follows Rabanan and davens mincha until nightfall he may not daven ma’ariv after plag hamincha and if he follows R’ Yehudah and davens ma’ariv after plag hamincha he may not daven mincha at that time. Nowadays that the custom is to daven mincha until nightfall one may not daven ma’ariv before shekiah. B’dieved if one davened ma’ariv after plag hamincha he fulfilled his obligation and in a pressing circumstance he may daven ma’ariv after plag hamincha. In our countries where we daven ma’ariv after plag hamincha one should not daven mincha at that time but b’dieved or in a pressing circumstance he has fulfilled his obligation if he davened mincha before nightfall which is tzeis hakochavim.

2. If one has water he must wash his hands before davening even though he doesn’t know that his hands are dirty. A beracha is not recited on this washing. (See above siman 92:5) Even if one was previously learning he should wash his hands for davening. If one does not have water available he is not required to wash.

          Siman 234 Seifim 2

1. One who wishes to daven mincha gedolah and mincha ketanah, it is not proper to daven a voluntary tefila other than during the time of mincha gedolah. If one davened his obligatory tefila during mincha gedolah he should daven the voluntary tefila during mincha ketanah. One should not daven a voluntary tefila unless he is confident that he will be careful and is capable of focusing on his tefila from the beginning to the end without losing concentration. If one cannot concentrate well we apply the pasuk, למה לי רב זבחיכם . Ashrei should not be recited before mincha unless a minyan is present so that they could recite kaddish before mincha. Some write that the custom is to recite Parshas Hatamid before Ashrei of mincha since it corresponds to the afternoon Tamid and it is a proper custom.

2. If one mistakenly did not daven mincha he should daven ma’ariv twice and should recite Ashrei beforehand since it is a make-up for mincha.

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