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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Chayei Sarah

Timely Prayer

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by Dayan Yehoshua Grunwald  

October 28, 2021



And Yitzchak went out to pray in the field toward evening…

Bereishis 24:63

According to Chazal (Brachos 26b), this pasuk teaches that Yitzchak instituted the practice of davening Mincha daily. The Gemara records a machlokes about the latest time for davening Mincha. R’ Yehudah holds that one must do so before plag haMincha (an hour and a quarter before shkiah, according to sha’os zmaniyos), while the Chachamim hold that one may daven until nightfall.

Although the Gemara rules that one may adopt either approach on a consistent basis, the practice of most people is to follow the Chachamim (except on Shabbos, which may be more lenient). But authorities differ concerning the definition of nightfall in this context. According to Rabeinu Yonah, nightfall refers to shkiah, while the Magein Avraham holds it means tzeis hakochavim (when the stars emerge).

Later Acharonim differ as to the practical halacha. The Gra (Ma’aseh Rav) and Aruch Hashulchan strongly argue that shkiah is the latest time for Mincha. The Divrei Yatziv (the Klausenberger Rebbe) says that one may daven Mincha until tzeis hakochavim. The Mishnah Brurah rules that one should daven Mincha before shkiah, but bedi’eved, if shkiah has passed, he may still daven. He cites opinions that recommend making a tenai (stipulation) that if it is too late for Mincha, one’s tefilah should count for Ma’ariv instead, and his Ma’ariv later will serve as tashlumin. Rav Elyashiv is cited as ruling that such a tenai should be made even if one davens immediately after shkiah, while others do not require one even when davening long after shkiah.

Today, different communities’ minhagim vary widely, and one’s approach in this issue should depend upon the practice of his community and his Rabbinic authority.


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