In Judaism, the hours of prayer are structured around specific times of the day. These are the primary daily prayer times:

  1. Shacharit (Morning Prayer): This is said in the morning, traditionally corresponding to the time of the morning Temple sacrifice. The ideal time to begin Shacharit is just before sunrise, but it can be recited until midday.

The Torah mentions the patriarch Abraham praying in the morning (Genesis 19:27). The Talmud, in Berakhot 26b, associates Abraham with the morning prayer based on this verse. The morning sacrifice (Tamid) in the Temple also sets a precedent for the morning prayer.

Jesus: Mark 1:35 says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

  1. Mincha (Afternoon Prayer): This is said in the afternoon. Its ideal time is in the late afternoon, just before sunset, but it can be started shortly after midday.

Isaac, Abraham’s son, is associated with the afternoon prayer. Genesis 24:63 mentions Isaac going out “to meditate in the field toward evening.” The Talmud in Berakhot 26b uses this verse to associate Isaac with the Mincha prayer. Additionally, the afternoon Tamid sacrifice in the Temple is another basis for this prayer.

Jesus: Matthew 14:23, after feeding the five thousand, it says, “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”

  1. Ma’ariv (Evening Prayer) or Arvit: This is the evening prayer and can be recited after nightfall (when three stars are visible). Some communities have a custom to pray Ma’ariv earlier, shortly after sunset.

Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, is associated with the evening prayer. Genesis 28:11 mentions Jacob encountering a place and staying there for the night. The Talmud in Berakhot 26b associates Jacob with the evening prayer based on this verse.

Extra Biblical Prayer Times

  1. Mussaf: This is an additional prayer that’s said on the Sabbath and on festivals. It corresponds to the additional offerings made in the Temple on these days. It’s recited after the Shacharit.
  2. Ne’ila: This is a unique prayer service that’s only said on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is recited as the day is closing, just before the final sounding of the shofar.



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