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Chayei Sarah Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Chayei Sarah Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

The Gemara (Brachos 26b)teaches that the times for Tefillah were established by Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Specifically we read this week of Yitchzak establishing the time for Mincha, the afternoon service.

The Pasuk reads:

בראשית פרשת חיי שרה פרק כד

סג) וַיֵּצֵא יִצְחָק לָשׂוּחַ בַּשָּׂדֶה לִפְנוֹת עָרֶב וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה גְמַלִּים בָּאִים

63. And Isaac went forth to pray in the field towards evening, and he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were approaching.

The term ‘Mincha’ is different from Shacharis or Ma’ariv due to the fact it refers to the Mincha sacrifice rather then a specfic time in the day (Shacharis is loosely translated as Morning Service and Maariv as the evening service).

What is unique about the Mincha service?

Where was Yitzchak when he was praying to God? How is that similar to our experience stopping to pray Mincha?

Who famously stops the Jewish people’s evil practices by praying to God at Mincha (see Melachim I 18:24)?

Why is it important to pause in the middle of the day to recite Mincha?

God promises Avraham that the sun will set on Jewish liberty and they will be sent to be strangers in a foreign land for 400 years. What is the connection to Yitzchak establishing Mincha and the speculation that these 400 years of exile begin during the life of Yitzchak?