The Early Minchah

Early Minchah

Some people prefer to daven minchah at the earliest possible time. There is a discussion in poskim whether it is preferable to daven minchah gedolah (early minchah) or minchah ketanah (late minchah— after 9.5 halachic “hours” of the day have passed). Either way, the consensus is that minchah gedolah 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 minchah until a half-hour after chatzos (midday). The Alter Rebbe writes that if one davened minchah before that time, they have not fulfilled their obligation and have to daven minchah again at the proper time. In general, in matters of Torah we say, “Ee efshar letzamtzeim” (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 minchah 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 minchah 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. #358

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.