Mincha Mishmara
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Mincha for Mishmara

(fast eve of Rosh Chodesh)

The reason to make this page was the Corona pandemic (מגפה). The Chief Rabbinate of Israel had declared the day before Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5780 (25 march 2020) as a global half day fast. Our kehila had not adopted this as a fast, but as a תענית דיבור (see responsa).

As before the decision of our rabbi was communicated the page was already mostly made, I decided to publish it, even though it was not needed at that moment שלא תשכח תורה מישראל, so it will not be forgotten.

In general, we have the custom to fast on the eve Rosh Chodesh, a fast called “Mishmara”. Other communities call this fast Yom Kipur Katan (יום כיפור קטן).

As far we know, the Mishmara was not kept after the war. Even if it was, there is nobody alive anymore who remembers the Mishmara and thus we lost the tradition. Keter Shem Tob (1932, part 1, page 432, note 484) writes that this minhag is not kept by the Sephardim, which obviously was not correct for Amsterdam. The texts themselves can be found in the back of all editions of the Ta’aniyot book (after 9 Ab) and the fast is described in Seder Chazzanut Brandon (1866). Nabarro (1960th) made no recordings of the Mishmara. The melodies as presented on this page are an “educated guess”, taken from others services with similar texts. Therefore the words may sometimes differ.

Seder Chazzanut Brandon (SHB page 174 left column) writes:

“There is a fast on the 29th of each month. In the morning the hashcavot for the 29th of each month must be said after the קדיש תתקבל, followed by the pregão (announcement) “Mincha se rezará esta tarde por os senhores, que jejuão a Mizmara, ahuma hora”: Mincha will be prayed this afternoon for you, who fast the Mizmara, at one o’ clock. 

If Rosh Chodesh is on Friday, Shabbat or Sunday, then the fast is advanced to Thursday, except for the Mishmara of Tishri, which can be held on Friday. The Mishmara of Tebet will take place on the 24th of the month. There is no Mishmara before Rosh Chodesh Iyar, as one may not fast in Nissan.” (Translations JBS)

Brandon adds that if there are enough fasting men, the chazzan must be available to read the parasa[1]. This indicates that already in his days (the first manuscript was written in 1866) the mismara was kept by a small group only.

For mincha, the various Ta’aniyot books write similar texts. Below the text from Rodriguez Mendes, 1725 on page 117-1

מתפללים מנחה כמו בצום גדליה.
(בערב ראש השנה אומרים במקום שמע קולי, אלקי אל תדנני)
ובמקום יענך ה' ביום צרה אומר שיר המעלות בשוב ה' את שיבת ציון
(אם לא שמקדימים להתענות ביום חמישי כשחל ראש חודש בשבת או ביום ראשון)
ואחר חזרת התפילה אומרים אבינו מלכנו
ואחר כך אומרים...

Cardozo edition adds:
(ובערב ראש השנה ובערב חנוכה, ניסן וסיון אין אומרים לא שמע קולי ולא סליחות,
אלא מיד אחר אבינו מלכנו אומרים קדיש, תענו וגו' התפילה)

From Brandon it seems that if there is no minjan of fasting men, Parasa is not read. It is obvious from this that in that case עננו is not read in the repetition by the Chazzan as a separate beracha, but as part of שמע קולנו by those who fast.
Only fasting men are called to the Tora. Thus a coheen or levi who is not fasting will not be called, even if there is no other coheen or levi.


·         Main part taken from public fast: NN, tape 12 start till minute 23; tape 16 minute 16-23, tape 20 minute 35:00-35:34

·         Selichot part, taken from Selichot & RH/Kippur.

Important notice. As stated, the Mishmara hasn’t been kept for many generations, and thus this page is based printed sources, complemented with assumptions. I did my outmost best to have it verified, but there is no guarantee. In case of any doubt, always contact the rabbinate for clarification.

With tallit & tefillin.
Regarding tefillin, there is no explicit indication, but the same reason which applies to any ta’anit tsibur applies here: the need to say 100 berachot, see טור או"ח סימן מ"ו בית יוסף ד"ה דתניא

All are standing during Kaddish

A downloadable version of this page

Recordings: NN and AAV.


(green, 1995)


Chazzan sits. Sings only fist and
last verse[2]. Not on eve Rosh
Hashanah, Chanuka, Nissan and
On eve of Rosh Hashanah


שמע קול

אלקי אל תדנני

Weekdays melody


למנצח... וידבר

Weekdays melody
On page 7 the chazzan reads פטום הקטורת  tillמלח סדומית רובע , the congregants say הקב, and the chazzan continues מעלה עשן


אתה הוא... שהקטירו... מפני הכבוד

At “Tehillat”, chazzan rises


וערבה.... אשרי



קדיש לעילא

Chazzan. (typed)
Abraham Pereira, Moshe Pereira, Sarah Pereira, Ribca Pereira, Esther Pereira da Costa.

Short text 
(right column)


Shamash opens the Heichal; Shamash takes the rimonim for levantar (Ashk, “hagbaha”) from the Heichal and holds on to them; the person honored with Abrir (abridor) walks to the Heichal. Chazzan reads.

Tefiloth 69


Chazzan Not on Friday or if there is chatan (no techinot) 


א'ל ארך אפים ... כרוב רחמיך א'ל

Chazzan walks to the Heichal

At the Heichal

On the way to the Tebah and undressing of the Torah



ברוך המקום


רוממו, כי שם

The levantador opens the sefer, the Chazzan and the parnas place the levantar rimonim on sefer, and while the levantador raises it aloft, the Congregation exclaims “Torat Moshe Emet”. 

When the levantador turns to the left, towards the president, those facing the script say ‘Vezot ...’. Then he turns three more times counterclockwise until all have faced the script and recited these words.

Finally he faces the hehal and all the worshippers say “Ha’El ...” while the sefer is lowered back onto the reader’s desk. 

Chazzan and Parnas place the levantar rimonim on their stands at the front corners of the Tebah, while the chazzan repeats “Ha’El..”.  The acompanhador takes his place a few steps behind where those called to the Torah will be standing. The Parnas hands the ponteiro to the Chazzan.


תורת משה אמת

זאת התורה...

הא־ל תמים דרכו...

Vayechal, only fasting men called, rabbi is called as 3rd & reads himself the “13 midoth” in high melody [3]


פרשה ויחל


מי שברך


if the fast was advanced to Thursday




שיר המעלות בשוב, מזמור קכ"ו

יענך ה’ ביום צרה, מזמור כ'


Chazzan on the way to the Hechal, he sings  אין כמוך...

The Torah is placed in the Hechal.

On the way back to the Tebah, ending at the Tebah




שובה למעונך 

ובנחה יאמר ... כקדם

Chazzan at the Tebah


תכון תפלתי



קדיש לעילא

With chazara, incl. Bircat kohanim by Chazzan

On Tsom Gedalya

Kahal in שמע קולנו, Chazzan before רפאנו



הספות ימי תשובה


Eve of Rosh Hashanah


אבינו מלכנו



על ידי רחמיך

Eve of Rosh Hashanah add
  רחמנא כתבינן בספרא ... [4]

RH 5

רחמנא אדכר לן
  רחמנא כתבינן בספרא ...
רחמא כבוש





א’ל מלך

סליחות עד אשמנו בלחש



חטאנו צורנו
בטרם שחקים

Some add

RH 14-15

ה' עשה למען שמך
 ... כי תהלתנו אתה


Eve of Rosh Hashanah add
אלקנו שבשמים כתבנו בספר...


RH 10-11

דעני לעניי, ענינן

אלקנו שבשמים חלק א
אלקנו שבשמים כתבנו בספר 
אלקנו שבשמים חלק ב



א'ל ארך אפים
עזרה הסופר
אל תעזבנו

When the fast was shifted to Thursday
(bowed on
left arm)


נפילת אפים




קדיש לעלא


Eve of Rosh Hashanah



תפילה לעני, מזמור ק"ב

שיר המעלות ממעמקים, מזמור ק"ל

Avel or Chazzan


קדיש יהא שלמא

more on Alenu




[1] Seder Chazzanut Cardozo (SHC page ה) writes that the Hashcavot and pregão in the morning are read after קדיש תתקבל or before Hanoteen. This indicates that there isn’t always Tora reading on the Mishmara morning and thus that the reading is caused by the day of the week (Monday or Thursday) and not by the Mishmara. The reading Brandon refers to must thus be the Mincha reading. We thus find no evidence for any changes during the morning service, as indeed we see nowhere else for Yom Kippur Katan.

[2] Unlike Kal Nidre, where it is sung.

[3] The high melody starts with "Vayikach biyado" and ends with "Venakeh". It is also sung like this when there is no Rabbi. The Rabbi takes over the pontairo from the Chazzan and starts with "Vaya'avor". The words "Hashem Hashem" to "Venakeh" are first sung by the congregation and then repeated by the Rabbi. This is also done if there is no Rabbi. At the words "Lo Yenakeh" the Rabbi returns the pontairo a de Chazzan that continues with the regular melody, but the Shofar Holech ("Munach") is emphasized, which otherwise never happens after a Kadma ("Pashta").

[4] This can found in the Rodrigeus Mendes edition, 1725. Leaving it out really looks as a mistake. All three omissions can be found in Rodrigeus Mendes respectively on pages קי"ח, קי"ט קכ'. For the convenience I refer in the table to the Rosh Hashanah book which is more commonly available.



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Reference to the source required at all times.        Page last update: 28 januari, 2024