I was amazed to hear recently on a shiur (by a very Orthodox Sephardic Rabbi) that there exists a custom, among some, to pray Mincha twice.
Google would seem to indicate that this is, in fact, a custom. (See, for example: http://chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?t=11723).
i) Isn’t there a problem here of saying Berachot le’vatalah.
ii) I had heard that you could technically pray as many times as you wanted in a day so long as you were m’hadesh (adding something new) to each prayer. But if the same mincha is prayed twice, one isn’t relying on this dispensation…
Finally, why don’t we say the same for Shachris and Arvit also?
Surely the same logic of offering a ‘voluntary korban’ applies equally as much to those tefilot?
Thanks in advance.
The question of saying berachos levatalah depends on whether it is permitted to daven again or not.
As you rightfully note, there is a concept of davening a tefillas nedavah, and if one’s intention is to daven a nedavah (a voluntary prayer), it is permitted to pray twice.
Although this applies throughout the day (a person can pray a nedavah prayer whenever he wishes to), the Tur (Orach Chaim 234; also cited by the Shulchan Aruch) does mention the idea of someone prayer mincha gedolah praying again at the time of minchah ketanah. This is in order to achieve the added virtue of praying at the later time.
However, one who wishes to daven a nedavah prayer must add a chidush, and without doing so, it is not permitted to daven twice. The Tur adds that aside for making a chiddush in the prayer, only a person who is confident of being able to have proper intent thoughout the prayer should daven a nedavah prayer, and otherwise it is said of him: “Why do I require your many offerings?”
See also Aruch Ha-Shulchan 107:5; Mishnah Berurah 234:4.