Updated: Dec 8, 2021
The Daily Halacha Moment - Minchah Erev Shabbat 📙
״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)
“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)
When is the proper time to pray Minchah On Erev Shabbat?
Preferably, one should pray Minchah before Kabbalat Shabbat, during Minchah Ketanah (9.5 halachic hours into the day).
However, if one is very busy and needs to pray Minchah early in order to have more time to prepare the house for Shabbat, then one may pray Minchah Gedolah (6.5 halachic hours into the day). 
Minchah should preferably be prayed about twenty minutes before shkiyah. This way, one will have enough to recite Kabbalat Shabbat before shkiyah as well. 
One who arrives late to the synagogue and the congregation has already accepted Shabbat, should not pray Minchah inside the sanctuary. Rather, one should pray Minchah outside in the hallway or in the ezrat nashim (if there are no women present). 
Nonetheless, one may begin to pray Minchah inside the sanctuary even if he knows that he will not finish praying the Shemoneh Esrei before the congregation begins Kabbalat Shabbat. 
. See Shalmei Tzibbur, Hilchot Minchah, siman 2, p. 159b; Kaf HaChaim, Palagi, 27:24. This was also the custom of Baba Sali, as brought in sefer Yisrael Saba, p. 244.
. See Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 2, p. 446. The Yalkut Yosef, ibid., p. 466 also points out that one should preferably pray Arvit after shkiyah, and not pray Minchah and Arvit during plag haminchah.
. Shulchan Aruch 262:15; Kaf HaChaim 263:94; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 295; see also in Yechaveh Daat 6:18. See also in Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 437 and Chut Shani, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 71 who state that one may pray Minchah in the ezrat nashim. However, if there are men in the ezrat nashim who are also praying Kabbalat Shabbat along with the minyan, then one should pray outside in the hallway instead.
. Shulchan Aruch 263:16; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 298. Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, pp. 436 and p. 441 even permits one to begin Minchah, even though the congregation has begun “Lechu Neranena.”
However, once they have begun Lecha Dodi (and at the very most, Boee Kallah) then one should leave the sanctuary in order to pray Minchah. The Az Nidberu, vol. 3, 38:5 and Halachah Berurah, ibid., p. 441 state that this is only the case regarding beginning the Shemoneh Esrei of Minchah, however, if one has not yet recited Ashrei, then one should not begin if one will not be able to begin the Shemoneh Esrei before the congregation recites Lechah Dodi.
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