SECTION 215 Responding Amen After Blessings. (1–5)

רטו עֲנִיַּת אָמֵן אַחַר הַבְּרָכוֹת, וּבוֹ ה' סְעִיפִים:

1 It is unseemly to recite Amen after one’s own blessings1 except when one is reciting a series of two or more blessings that are linked to each other. [In such an instance,] one should recite Amen at the end of the entire series, as stated in sec. 54[:1]. There are authorities who differ even with regard to the latter situation, as explained in that source. The custom in these countries is [to follow the second approach];2 this custom should not be changed.

According to all opinions, a person should not recite Amen after he recited the blessing that is recited after partaking of fruit (the berachah acharonah), because that blessing is not at all linked with the blessing recited before partaking [of the fruit (the berachah rishonah)], as evidenced by the fact that one is permitted to speak in the interim. [The berachah acharonah thus] is not comparable to Yishtabach, which is the concluding blessing recited after Pesukei D’Zimra,3[for that blessing] is linked with the introductory blessing, Baruch Sheamar, as evidenced by the fact that it is forbidden to speak [anything other than words of prayer] during Pesukei D’Zimra, as stated in that source.4

א הָעוֹנֶה אָמֵן אַחַר בִּרְכוֹתָיו – הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה,א,1 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן בֵּרַךְ שְׁתֵּי בְּרָכוֹת אוֹ יוֹתֵר,ב שֶׁיֵּשׁ אֲחִיזָה לָזוֹ בָּזוֹ – עוֹנֶה בְּסוֹף כֻּלָּן "אָמֵן",ג כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ד.ד וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין גַּם בָּזֶהה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם. וְכֵן מִנְהַג מְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ,2 וְאֵין לְשַׁנּוֹת הַמִּנְהָג.ו

וְאַחַר בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה שֶׁל פֵּרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם – לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל אֵינוֹ עוֹנֶה "אָמֵן" אַחַר בִּרְכַּת עַצְמוֹ, כִּי אֵין לָהּ אֲחִיזָה עִם בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי רַשַּׁאי לְהַפְסִיק וּלְדַבֵּר בֵּינְתַיִם.ז וְאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה לְ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח" שֶׁהִיא בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה אַחַר פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה,3 וְיֵשׁ לָהּ אֲחִיזָה עִם בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁהִיא "בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר", לְפִי שֶׁאָסוּר לְהָשִׂיחַ בְּאֶמְצַע פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם: ח,4

2 It is, by contrast, an obligation to respond Amen after [hearing] a blessing recited by another Jewish person, even though one is not obligated in that blessing at all.5 [This law applies] even if he did not hear the blessing from the beginning to its end, only the end, and [indeed,] even if he did not hear the blessing at all, but he knows which blessing was recited, so that his response will not be considered an “orphaned6 Amen,” as explained in sec. 124[:11].7

When, by contrast,a non-Jew recites any of the blessings ordained by our Sages,8 one should not respond Amen unless he hears himrecite the entire blessing.9 Our Sages deemed Samaritans as non-Jews with regard to all matters.10 It is, however, forbidden to recite Amen to a blessing recited by an idolater,11 one who is devoted to the worship of false deities, even if one heard the entire blessing from him. (For it can be assumed that the idolater had a false deity in mind when mentioning G‑d’s name.) Similarly, one should not respond Amen to a blessing recited by a person who altered its wording.12

Similarly, one should not respond Amen when one hears blessings recited by a child who is studying them in the presence of his teacher.13 [The child’s recitation of the blessings is allowed,] for it is permissible to teach a child to recite the blessings as ordained,14 even at times when he is not obligated,15 even though they are being recited in vain at the time of instruction. When, by contrast, an adult is learning [the blessings], he is forbidden [to utter G‑d’s name].16 One should, however, respond Amen when children are reciting blessings that are not in vain,17 i.e., when they recite blessings at a time when required, to fulfill the obligation incumbent on them that they be trained in the observance of mitzvos.18 Similarly, [one should respond Amen to] the blessings a child recites before and after reading the Haftorah, when he reads itfor the community.19

ב אֲבָל אַחַר בִּרְכַּת אָדָם אַחֵר מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל חוֹבָה לַעֲנוֹת "אָמֵן",ט אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אֵינוֹ מְחֻיָּב בִּבְרָכָה זוֹ כְּלָל,י,5 וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא שְׁמָעָהּ מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ וְעַד סוֹפָהּ אֶלָּא סוֹפָהּ בִּלְבַד,יא אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לֹא שְׁמָעָהּ כְּלָל, רַק שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ אֵיזוֹ בְּרָכָה הִיא שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא "אָמֵן" יְתוֹמָה,6 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קכ"ד.יב,7

אֲבָל נָכְרִי הַמְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה מִן הַבְּרָכוֹת שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים8 – אֵין עוֹנִים אַחֲרָיו "אָמֵן" אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שָׁמַע כָּל הַבְּרָכָה מִפִּיו.יג,9 וְכוּתִים עֲשָׂאוּם כְּנָכְרִים לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶם.יד,10 אֲבָל אַחַר מִין, דְּהַיְנוּ הָאָדוּק לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָהטו,11 – אָסוּר לַעֲנוֹת "אָמֵן" אֲפִלּוּ שָׁמְעוּ כָּל הַבְּרָכָה מִפִּיוטז (לְפִי שֶׁסְּתָם מַחֲשֶׁבֶת מִין בְּהַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם הִיא לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה) יז. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁשִּׁנָּה מַטְבֵּעַ הַבְּרָכָה – אֵין עוֹנִין אַחֲרָי[ו] "אָמֵן".יח,12

וְכֵן אֵין עוֹנִין "אָמֵן" אַחַר תִּינוֹק שֶׁלּוֹמֵד הַבְּרָכוֹת לִפְנֵי רַבּוֹ,יט,13 שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְלַמֵּד לְתִינוֹק הַבְּרָכוֹת כְּתִקּוּנָן14 אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּזְמַנָּן,כ,15 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם לְבַטָּלָה בִּשְׁעַת הַלִּמּוּד, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָסוּר לְגָדוֹל הַמִּתְלַמֵּד.כא,16 אֲבָל כְּשֶׁאֵינָן מְבָרְכִין לְבַטָּלָה – עוֹנִין אַחֲרֵיהֶם "אָמֵן",כב,17 כְּגוֹן שֶׁמְּבָרְכִין אוֹתָן בִּזְמַנָּן כְּדֵי לִפְטֹר מֵחִיּוּבָן שֶׁהֵם חַיָּבִים בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכָם בְּמִצְוֹת.18 וְכֵן בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁקּוֹרִין הַהַפְטָרָה בְּצִבּוּר, וּמְבָרְכִין לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ: כג,19

3 Whoever recites a blessing in which he is not obligated is uttering G‑d’s name in vain20 and it is considered as if he took a false oath;21 it is forbidden to respond Amen afterwards. True, mentioning G‑d’s name in vain is forbidden according to Scriptural Law only when one does so frivolously, for purposeless matters and not when one recites a blessing, even unnecessarily. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, it is forbidden [to mention G‑d’s name] even in an unnecessary blessing. (For a [worthy] purpose, however, it is permissible to mention G‑d’s name even in connection with mundane matters.)22

ג כָּל הַמְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה – הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹשֵׂא שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם לַשָּׁוְא,כד,20 וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּאִלּוּ נִשְׁבַּע לַשָּׁוְא,21 וְאָסוּר לַעֲנוֹת אָמֵן אַחֲרָיו.כה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּן הַתּוֹרָה אֵין אִסּוּר בְּהַזְכָּרַת שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם לְבַטָּלָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמַּזְכִּירוֹ בְּדִבְרֵי הֲבַאי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם צֹרֶךְ, וְלֹא בְּדֶרֶךְ בְּרָכָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ בְּדֶרֶךְ בְּרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָהכו (אֲבָל לְצֹרֶךְ מֻתָּר לְהַזְכִּיר אֲפִלּוּ בִּדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת) כז:22

4 It is forbidden to cause [the recitation of] an unnecessary blessing, e.g., whenever there are two matters that can be covered by the same blessing, it is forbidden to bring about a situation where one would be required to recite a second blessing, for example, to make an interruption through speech or through other means that would necessitate the recitation of a second blessing.23 This applies even on Shabbos;[although]one lacks many of the 100 blessings that he is required to recite daily,24 it is forbidden for him to necessitate the recitation of an [otherwise] unnecessary blessing in order to fulfill the quota of 100 blessings.

When does the above apply? When one can cover two items with a blessing that is specific to both of them.25 If, however, the blessing is specific only to one of them, but it can also cover the second as an auxiliary item,26 it is preferable [to recite a blessing over the second,] to increase the number of blessings one recites, as stated in sec. 212[:8].

ד אָסוּר לִגְרֹם בְּרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה, כְּגוֹן כָּל שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְפָטְרָם בִּבְרָכָה אַחַת – אָסוּר לִגְרֹם שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָרֵךְ,כח כְּגוֹן שֶׁיַּפְסִיק בֵּינְתַיִם בְּשִׂיחָה, אוֹ בְּדָבָר אַחֵר הַגּוֹרֵם שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָרֵךְ.כט,23 וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁחָסְרוּ הַרְבֵּה בְּרָכוֹת מִמִּנְיַן מֵאָה בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁחַיָּב אָדָם לְבָרֵךְ בְּכָל יוֹםל,24 – אָסוּר לִגְרֹם בְּרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה כְּדֵי לְהַשְׁלִים לְמֵאָה.לא

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁיָּכוֹל לִפְטֹר שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים בִּבְרָכָה שֶׁהִיא מְיֻחֶדֶת לִשְׁנֵיהֶם,25 אֲבָל אִם הִיא מְיֻחֶדֶת לְדָבָר אֶחָד אֶלָּא שֶׁיָּכוֹל לִפְטֹר בָּהּ גַּם הַשֵּׁנִי בְּתוֹרַת טְפֵלָה26 – טוֹב יוֹתֵר לְהַרְבּוֹת בִּבְרָכוֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן רי"ב: לב

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5 Therefore, if fruits are brought to a person in the midst of a meal, it is preferable for him to put them aside until after Grace, so that he will be required to recite the berachah acharonah that is specific to them instead of having them covered by Grace, which is not specific to them.27 They are covered by Grace only because they are considered as part of the meal, since they were served before the people dining withdrew entirely from partaking of bread. Had they been served afterwards, they would require the recitation of a blessing both beforehand and afterwards. They would not be covered by Grace, for the recitation of Grace does not absolve one from the responsibility to recite the one blessing that encapsulates three or the blessing Borei nefashos rabbos, as stated in sec. 177[:6] and sec. 208.28 There are authorities who differ,29 [but] one should be stringent and follow the first opinion.30 In particular, this applies on Shabbos and festivals. In order to fulfill the obligation of 100 blessings, one should put aside the fruits until after Grace, so that he may fulfill [his quota of blessings] in this manner, and not have to rely on listening to the sheliach tzibbur’s repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh and the recitation of the blessings for the Torah reading and the Haftorah [for that purpose].31

This concludes Hilchos Berachos.

Complete and consummate with praise to the Almighty, the Creator of the world.32

ה לְפִיכָךְ, אִם הֵבִיאוּ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת בְּתוֹךְ הַסְּעוּדָה – טוֹב יוֹתֵר לְהָנִיחָם לְאַחַר בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּבָרֵךְ אַחֲרֵיהֶם בִּרְכָתָם הָאַחֲרוֹנָה הַמְיֻחֶדֶת לָהֶם, וְלֹא יִפְטְרֵם בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְיֻחֶדֶת לָהֶם,לג,27 וְאֵינָהּ פּוֹטַרְתָּם אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהֵם נֶחְשָׁבִים מִכְּלַל הַסְּעוּדָה, הוֹאִיל וּבָאוּ קֹדֶם שֶׁמָּשְׁכוּ יְדֵיהֶם מִן הַפַּת. וְאִם בָּאוּ אַחַר כָּךְ – טְעוּנִים בְּרָכָה לִפְנֵיהֶם וּלְאַחֲרֵיהֶם וְאֵין נִפְטָרִים בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, שֶׁאֵין בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן פּוֹטֶרֶת מֵעֵין ג' וְלֹא "בּוֹרֵא נְפָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת", כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קע"זלד וְר"ח.לה,28 וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִים.לו,29וְיֵשׁ לְהַחְמִיר כַּסְּבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.30 וּבִפְרָט בְּשַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב כְּדֵי לְהַשְׁלִים מֵאָה בְּרָכוֹת – יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהָנִיחָם לְאַחַר בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן לְהַשְׁלִים בָּהֶם,לז וְלֹא לִסְמֹךְ עַל שְׁמִיעַת חֲזָרַת הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר וּבִרְכַּת הַתּוֹרָה וְהַהַפְטָרָה: לח,31

סְלִיק הִלְכוֹת בְּרָכוֹת.לט

תַּם וְנִשְׁלַם שֶׁבַח לָאֵל בּוֹרֵא עוֹלָם.32