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Orthodox-dressed men studying
A mincha minyan (quorum of ten or more Jewish men) at a yeshiva

Mincha (Hebrew: מִנחַה, pronounced as IPA: [minˈχa]; sometimes spelled Minchah or Minḥa) is the afternoon prayer service in Judaism.


The name Mincha, meaning "present", is derived from the meal offering that accompanied each sacrifice offered in the Temple (Beit HaMikdash).[1]


The Hebrew noun minḥah (מִנְחָה‎) is used 211 times in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible, with the first uses referring to vegetable and animal offerings brought by Cain and Abel to God.[2] Most other uses refer to a gift offering, made of grain, which could be offered at any time in the day.

Rabbis in the Talmud debate whether the daily prayers have their origin in the behavior of the biblical Patriarchs, or in the Temple sacrifices.[3] According to the first opinion, the Mincha prayer was originated by Isaac, who "went out to converse in the field",[4] with God. According to the second opinion, the Mincha prayer is based on the afternoon tamid (daily) offering which was offered in the Temple each afternoon.

Time frame for recitation[edit]

Mincha is different from Shacharit and Maariv in that it is recited in the middle of the secular day. Unlike Shacharit, which is recited upon arising, and Maariv, which can be recited before going to sleep, Mincha is the afternoon prayer and as a result of this, many Mincha groups have formed in workplaces and other places where many Jews are present during the day.[5]

Mincha may be recited beginning half an hour (either regular or relative hours) after halachic noontime. This earliest time is referred to as mincha gedola (the "large mincha"). According to the Shulchan Aruch, it preferably recited after mincha ketana (2.5 halachic hours before sunset or nightfall),[6] but common practice is to recite it anytime after mincha gedola and not to be careful to recite it specifically after mincha ketana.

Ideally, one should complete Mincha before sunset (shkiah), although many authorities permit reciting Mincha until nightfall. The Mishnah Berurah states that is preferable to recite mincha without a minyan before shkiah than to recite it with a minyan after shkia.[7]


Mincha on a weekday exclusive includes prayers found at Shacharit.

Prayers of Mincha include the following:

Most Sephardim and Italian Jews start the Mincha prayers with Psalm 84 and Korbanot (Numbers 28:1–8), and usually continue with the Pittum hakketoret. The opening section is concluded with Malachi 3:4. Most non-Chasidic Ashkenizim begin with Ashrei, although many individuals recite the Korban HaTamid beforehand (a very few Nusach Ashkenaz communities have adopted the practice to recite Korban HaTamid (Numbers 28:1–8) publicly).

On Yom Kippur, Ashkenazim postpone Ashrei and Uva Letzion until the Ne'ila service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tosafot Pesachim 107a
  2. ^ Concordance: מִנְחָה
  3. ^ Berachot 26b
  4. ^ Genesis 24:63
  5. ^ Living Jewish: values, practices and traditions By Berel Wein, page 87
  6. ^ Shulchan Aruch OC 233:1.
  7. ^ Mishnah Brurah, Orach Chaim 233:14