Difference between revisions of "Daily Halacha"

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==The Weekly Halachic Analysis==
 
==The Weekly Halachic Analysis==
<p style="text-indent: 2em"> While you could have thought that there's nothing to lose by answering [[amen]] if you didn't hear the bracha, the gemara seems to shatter such an idea. Shockingly, the Gemara [[Brachot]] 47a states that if you didn't hear the bracha, you should not answer an [[Amen]] Yetoma, an [[Amen]], which is orphaned and separated from the bracha. Moreover, Ben Azzai says not only is it forbidden, but if you do it, there is a curse that such a person should pass away, leaving his children orphans, Chas VeShalom! What could have possibly prompted Chazal to consider answering [[Amen]] Yetoma such a grievous sin? </p>
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<p style="text-indent: 2em">In order to address our question, perhaps we can gain some insight from seeing how the Rishonim defined the parameters of [[Amen]] Yetoma. Rashi and Tosfot<ref>Rashi ([[Brachot]] 47a s.v. Yetoma) and Tosfot ([[Brachot]] 47a s.v. [[Amen]])</ref> ask that the Gemara [[Sukkah]] (51b) seems to contradict the Gemara [[Brachot]]. The Gemara [[Sukkah]] relates how there was such a multitude of people in the shul of Alexandria that some people couldn't hear the Shaliach Tzibbur. To facilitate people [[answering Amen]], the gemara says, the Shaliach Tzibbur would wave a flag as he finished the bracha so everyone could see that they should answer [[Amen]]. Seemingly, this gemara takes for granted that it is permitted to answer [[Amen]] even if one didn't hear the bracha. Rashi and Tosfot both answer that [[answering Amen]] is only an issue if you don't know which bracha was made or if you don't know if someone made a bracha at all. If you know that someone made a certain bracha, however, even if you didn't hear it, you can say [[Amen]].<ref>Regarding the halacha, whether the opinion of Rashi is accepted, see S"A 124:8</ref> That's why the people of the shul in Alexandria were able to answer [[Amen]] even though they didn't hear the bracha.</p>
 
<p style="text-indent: 2em">Based on the explanation of Rashi, one could suggest that the reason that saying [[Amen]] without knowing which bracha was made is so severe is because [[Amen]] is meant to be a statement affirming the truth of the blessing, expressing one's faith in Hashem's abilities and praise.<ref>This explanation of Amen Yetoma is developed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed [http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=16852 on yeshiva.org.il]. Rav Soloveitchik in Reshimot [[Shiurim]] ([[Brachot]] 47a, p. 501 s.v. VeNirah) explains that Rashi and Tosfot hold that [[Amen]] is a function of expressing one's Emunah in the content of the bracha, in which case only knowledge of the bracha is necessary. The Rabbenu Yonah, however, understood that [[Amen]] is a way of accepting the bracha upon oneself, in which case, having knowledge of the bracha without hearing its words isn't sufficient.</ref> If you don't know which bracha was made and you still say that you affirm its validity, your words become meaningless. Moreover, your intended praise of Hashem turns out to be hollow and without understanding. That's why, says the Maharal<ref>Netivot Olam (Netiv HaAvoda ch. 11; Sifrei Maharal Edition v. 1, p. 112)</ref>, unlike a bracha which is valid if said without understanding as it is intrinsically meaningful, however, an [[Amen]] is a statement of Emunah which is useless without understanding. </p>
 
__NOGLOSSARY__
 
 
==Summary of the Daily Halacha's==
 
==Summary of the Daily Halacha's==
# There are four common mistakes when responding אמן.  
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# The Gemara notes that there is an apparent contradiction between two pesukim in Tehillim. On one hand, the pasuk says that Hashem owns the world, yet, the other pasuk describes how the land was given to manking. Chazal explain that indeed, everything belongs to Hashem, but once a person recites a bracha over a certain worldly pleasure, he acquires it.<ref> Gemara [[Brachot]] 35a</ref> Chazal, therefore, instituted a series of [[brachot]] to be recited every morning, each blessing corresponding to another of the various worldly benefits and pleasures.  
## One must make sure pronounce the kamatz under the Aleph of [[Amen]], otherwise it is considered an [[Amen]] Chatufa. Additionally, [[Amen]] Chatufa includes when someone responds [[Amen]] before the bracha has been completed. <ref> S"A 124:8, Biur Halacha 124:8 s.v. Kriyat</ref>
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# Many poskim rule that while reciting [[Birchot HaShachar]], the morning [[Berachos]], and while reciting blessing of praise or thanks, one does not need to stand. Others recommend standing. Some say that this only applies if it will not detract from one's concentration.<ref>Pri Megadim (Peticha LeHilchot [[Brachot]] #18 and M"Z 432:3, Halichot Shlomo ch. 20, Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:37</ref>
## One should ensure to pronounce the nun of [[Amen]], otherwise it is considered an [[Amen]] Katufa. <ref> S"A 124:8, Biur Halacha 124:8 s.v. Kriyat</ref>
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# In Talmudic times each of the [[Birchot HaShachar]] were recited when the particular benefit for which it was composed occurred: One would open his eyes and recite the blessing Poke'ach Ivrim; when one would sit up he would say, [[Matir]] Asurim; etc. Nowadays, because of a concern of unclean hands when reciting the [[blessings]], as well as the prevalence of those without sufficient knowledge of Halacha, we recite all the [[Brachot]] at one time, after preparing oneself for Teffilah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 46:1-2, Aruch HaShulchan 46:9</ref>
## One should be sure to answer [[Amen]] slowly. One's [[amen]] should take as long as it would normally take to say El Melech Neeman, but not overly protracted.<ref> S"A 124:8, Mishna Brurah 124:36, [[Brachot]] 47a</ref>
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# In three of the [[Birchot HaShachar]], we thank Hashem for not making us a non-Jew, who isn't obligated in any mitzvot or a slave who is limited in the mitzvot he is obligated in. Men also recite a bracha thanking Hashem for not being created a woman who is not as obligated as men in certain mitzvot. At this time, women also affirm their unique status in Judaism and recite SheAsani Kirsono.<ref>Tur and Shulchan Aruch 46:4</ref>
## If one didn't hear a bracha, one shouldn't answer [[Amen]], otherwise it would be considered an [[Amen Yetoma]]. If one didn't hear the bracha, but knows what bracha/Kaddish is being said, one may in fact answer [[Amen]]. However, if one is attempting to fulfill an obligation with someone else's bracha, but did not actually hear the whole bracha, one can answer [[amen]] even though he will not fulfill his obligation.<ref>Mishna Brurah 124:31 and 124:34, S"A 124:8</ref>
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# According to Ashkenazim, one should not respond [[Amen]] to one's own bracha. If, after making a bracha on food, one answered [[Amen]] to one's own bracha, it is considered a [[Hefsek]]. Also, if someone else made the same bracha at the same time that he did, he should not respond [[Amen]] because it sounds like he is responding [[Amen]] to his own bracha.<ref>S"A 215:1, Mishna Brurah 215:1 and 51:3</ref>
 
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
 
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Latest revision as of 01:38, 15 July 2020

The Weekly Halachic Analysis

Summary of the Daily Halacha's

  1. The Gemara notes that there is an apparent contradiction between two pesukim in Tehillim. On one hand, the pasuk says that Hashem owns the world, yet, the other pasuk describes how the land was given to manking. Chazal explain that indeed, everything belongs to Hashem, but once a person recites a bracha over a certain worldly pleasure, he acquires it.[1] Chazal, therefore, instituted a series of brachot to be recited every morning, each blessing corresponding to another of the various worldly benefits and pleasures.
  2. Many poskim rule that while reciting Birchot HaShachar, the morning Berachos, and while reciting blessing of praise or thanks, one does not need to stand. Others recommend standing. Some say that this only applies if it will not detract from one's concentration.[2]
  3. In Talmudic times each of the Birchot HaShachar were recited when the particular benefit for which it was composed occurred: One would open his eyes and recite the blessing Poke'ach Ivrim; when one would sit up he would say, Matir Asurim; etc. Nowadays, because of a concern of unclean hands when reciting the blessings, as well as the prevalence of those without sufficient knowledge of Halacha, we recite all the Brachot at one time, after preparing oneself for Teffilah.[3]
  4. In three of the Birchot HaShachar, we thank Hashem for not making us a non-Jew, who isn't obligated in any mitzvot or a slave who is limited in the mitzvot he is obligated in. Men also recite a bracha thanking Hashem for not being created a woman who is not as obligated as men in certain mitzvot. At this time, women also affirm their unique status in Judaism and recite SheAsani Kirsono.[4]

Sources

  1. Gemara Brachot 35a
  2. Pri Megadim (Peticha LeHilchot Brachot #18 and M"Z 432:3, Halichot Shlomo ch. 20, Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:37
  3. Shulchan Aruch 46:1-2, Aruch HaShulchan 46:9
  4. Tur and Shulchan Aruch 46:4