Probably, a Definition is In Order:
Mincha moment (MIN-chuh, with the “ch” like in “Bach” or “loch”) refers to a moment in the afternoon- 2:30 pm is what we’ve been using- when you stop whatever you’re doing, look around and acknowledge to yourself, how truly grateful you are. If 2:30 pm doesn’t work for you, no problem. Choose another time, but stick to it. Better yet, keep 2:30 pm and pick an additional moment as well. Unlike specials in the supermarket, decongestants or hot fudge sundaes, there’s no limit to how many mincha moments you can have in a day. But whatever time you decide, when it arrives, stop what you’re doing. Take in everything around you, and recognize how much gratitude you have. It sounds easy, especially if you’re on vacation. Not too difficult to be grateful for spectacular scenery, amazing food, and daily massages. On the other hand, if instead of vacation, you’re in a boring meeting at work or waiting two hours at the DMV, you might find it quite a bit harder. Yet if you take a minute, you’ll find there’s a lot you’re thankful for. Maybe it’s some of your colleagues at the office, who make working on assignments interesting and help to get your creative juices flowing. Maybe it’s your strong legs that allow you to stand online. Or maybe, when all is said and done, life is just pretty damn good–especially if you have a fresh pound of chocolate malted milk balls in the drawer.
Here’s My Thinking:
According to Jewish tradition, people are called on to offer specific prayers called berakhot (blessings) 100 times a day. From waking up in the morning and thanking God for returning our soul to us, to saying a prayer upon seeing a rainbow. In addition, the community is called on to pray together as a community three times a day. Morning – Shacharit, Afternoon- Mincha, and Evening – Maariv. Why is that? Sure, it technically corresponds to the three daily offerings in ancient times, but what was that all about? It seems like a big interruption to everyone’s life, no?
The way I figure it, a group of guys, sat around a billion years ago and decided that if people weren’t required to get together on a formal schedule and acknowledge, among other things, their gratitude – they’d never take the time to appreciate all that they have. Back then people had oxen to move from one dusty place to another, dirt floors to sweep, vegetables to pinch day after day at the local market. Today it’s finding a new cell phone that doesn’t make you sound like you’re walking through a bunch of kindling. It’s all the same – a drain on your time – so we don’t carve out extra time to be grateful. After all, we can do that later.
Well, later is 2:30 pm. Everyday. Set your cell, watch, Ipad or if you insist, your sundial. (Can you set a sundial?) When it goes off, stop and look around. Take time– the mincha moment-- and be grateful.
And on a More Personal Note:
Debra Gonsher Vinik and David Vinik are partners in Diva Communications, Inc, a video programming and production company in NYC. Through an interfaith kaleidoscope, they create, write, film and edit documentaries on social justice issues.
Years ago, Debra and David set their watches (now it is their cell phones) to go off every day at 2:30 pm. In addition to giving them an opportunity to reflect on all they have, Debra and David love knowing that at 2:30 pm, wherever they are, they are united, no matter the distance, in joint reflection.
The list of all the things they are grateful for is HUGE, but some of the inventory includes: cats, malted milk balls, painless dentists, Bert, linen shoe boxes, lamp shades, Flowerbomb, fresh sheets, strong lungs, Taryn, potato pancakes, Iphones, pedicures, golf, Shirley, summer fruit, running, begonias, meat grinders, Sally, white water rafting, old friends, Brandi Carlile, the Annual, good health, ice…
Most of the music on the site has been composed by Jim Papoulis. Jim composes, orchestrates, and conducts music for dance, film, ensembles, and choirs. Jim’s original recent compositions include UNICEF’s theme First Earth Run, performed worldwide (London’s Royal Albert Hall, The Great Wall of China). He is the co-founder of the Foundation for Small Voices and the composer of a prodigious amount of choral compositions that are performed around the world. He has also scored almost all of Diva Communications’ fourteen feature-length documentaries. He believes that exposing oneself to art can inspire and heal.
Jim is grateful for being open to new ideas and thoughts, which should happen at least once a day. He feels that we get caught up in the day-to-day details of life, and don’t expand ourselves. “The Mincha Moment can be the beginning of that self-exploration.”