Monday, June 25, 2007

Shabbat Mincha How-To

Musical Note
Cantor Sherwood Goffin

Nusach Guidelines for Mincha Shabbat

The general rule for Mincha all year around - even for Yomim Noroim - is that, until after Kedusha, the nusach is Weekdays. The one exception is Mincha for Shabbat. Ashrei and Uva L'Tzion and the first Kaddish are chanted in the "Shabbat mincha style", even though there is evidence that this was not the original West European minhag. Nevertheless, as Jews with an East European tradition, we do it that way.

After the Torah reading, one should switch back to Weekday style, even for the second Kaddish before the Amida. Unfortunately, most Baalei Tefilla feel uncomfortable doing that since the congregation will most probably "expect" the special "Mincha tune" there.

The Repetition of the Amida until after Kedusha is definitely in the "Weekday" mode, and only at Yimloch switches back to the Shabbat Mincha melody. Here, one alternative minhag arose- that of the Chassidim- who were afraid that they would not be able to return to the Mincha tune after Kedusha, and therefore they recited the mincha tune from the beginning of the Amida's repetition. One should avoid that, if possible, especially here at LSS.

Finally, the Kaddish after the Amida MUST be sung in the Weekday mode. To use the Mincha tune here is definitely incorrect according to all minhagim.

I hope this clarifies this issue. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me any time.

Daven well and sing along!

(c) 2007 Sherwood Goffin and Lincoln Square Synagogue

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