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Updated: Update: 2020.07.16


fem. n. Long before Avᵊrâ•hâm, Mi•nᵊkh•âh referred to a presentation gift, especially an award/​presentation gift honoring the laureate dinner-guest of a "dësh dinner-banquet" marking some dësh agreement; by definition, a bᵊrit. Since the Mi•nᵊkh•âh was dësh, it was forbidden to be eaten by anyone else or used in any other way. A priori, any parts not eaten were required to be sent up to ël•ōh•im in smoke, as an עֹלָה, thereby making ël•ōh•im a party to the "dësh dinner-banquet"—and Guarantor of its bᵊrit.

"Outside the ritual codes the term [מִנחָה] could refer to any gift or offering, including animals but in prescriptive texts it signifies a concoction of [סֹלֶת],‭‬ [שֶׁמֶן], and [לְבוֹנָה]. Its form could be [חַלוֹת],‭‬ [רְקִיקֵי מַּצּוֹת], or [פִּתִּים]; the offerings of [בִּכּוּרִים] were to be 'crushed new grain from fresh ears' … The [מִנחָה] normally accompanied every [עֹלָה]…" 

With the proscription against offering sacrifices outside of the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh or by non-kō•han•im, this "dësh dinner-banquet" became abbreviated to a Mi•nᵊkh•âh that consisted of the "grain offering" of the pre-dusk (late-afternoon) liturgy and, by extension, the pre-dusk Tᵊphil•ōt echoing the liturgy of the extinct Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh.

Thus, Mi•nᵊkh•âh refers to the last tᵊphil•ōt of the day; starting at least half-an-hour after mid-day, but early enough to conclude before sunset. Accordingly, Mi•nᵊkh•âh is popularly recited late in the afternoon, yet early enough to allow congregants to finish in time to take a couple of minutes break and still begin reciting Ma•a•riv a bit before sunset, timing the service so that it's dark, having begun the new day, before reciting the Shᵊm•a. Thus, the first thing in a new day is reciting the Shᵊm•a.

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