Ask the Rabbi

קטגוריה משנית
What about for mincha and ma´ariv? What prayers are needed and what prayers are unneeded and can be skipped?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. How should someone who needs to pray without a minyan do so for the Mincha and Maariv prayers? And what about someone who is just getting started with their growth in observance – are there parts they may leave out? As we wrote in our previous answer, without a minyan one cannot say Kaddish, Bara’chu, the repetition of the Amidah, or Torah reading. So, when it comes to mincha, one would say Ashrai, then pray the silent Amidah. (After that, there are certain days when Tachanun is said, but parts of it can only be said with a minyan (the 13 middot). My advice for a beginner is to skip Tachanun altogether especially when praying alone, and concentrate on the other prayers.) Mincha should be finished with Alainoo. For Maariv, the evening service, one would skip the Barachu introduction, and begin from the blessings of the Shema – they start with Baruch Atah Hashem… Then say everything until the kaddish before the Amidah. That is – the two paragraphs before Shema, the Shema itself, and the two blessings after Shema. (Some communities, especially outside of Israel, then say a long paragraph Baruch Hashem LeOlam Amen V’Amen… Many communities do not say this, and my advice for a beginner, when praying alone is to skip it. So, straight after the second blessing after Shema, which ends “Shomer Amo Yisrael Le’ad” start the Amidah). Then the Amidah should be said, without saying the Kaddish that is usually said before the Amidah, as you do not have a minyan. After the Amidah, one should finish the service with Alainoo. (Some communities add an extra psalm – but again, my advice is to skip it when alone, as a beginner). From Pessach until Shavu’ot the Omer should be counted before Alainoo. I hope this is of some help. Blessings.
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