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==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><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==
# Chazal viewed the recitation of [[Amen]] very highlyThe Gemara notes that there is an apparent contradiction between two pesukim in Tehillim. In factOn one hand, Chazal tell us the pasuk says that responding [[Amen]] is of greater significance than reciting Hashem owns the world, yet, the other pasuk describes how the Berachaland was given to manking. The failure Chazal explain that indeed, everything belongs to recite [[Amen]] is considered Hashem, but once a person recites a bracha over a gross transgressioncertain worldly pleasure, while responding [[Amen]] with great concentration opens the gates of Gan Edenhe acquires it. <ref>Gemara [[Brachot]] 53b, Chaye Adam (Klal 6:1), Gemara [[Shabbat]] 119b, Rashi [[Shabbat]] 119b s.v. BeChol35a</ref># The letters Chazal, therefore, instituted a series of [[Amenbrachot]] are the root letters to be recited every morning, each blessing corresponding to another of the word Emunah, belief or trustvarious worldly benefits and pleasures. By responding # Many poskim rule that while reciting [[AmenBirchot HaShachar]] one declares: "I believe in , the bracha that I have just heard and I affirm its truth." Additionally, when responding morning [[AmenBerachos]] one should have in mind the beginning , and while reciting blessing of the Bracha, "Baruch Atta Hashem"praise or thanks, one does not need to stand. Others recommend standing. Some say that Hashemthis only applies if it will not detract from one's name is Blessedconcentration. <ref>Shulchan Aruch 124Pri Megadim (Peticha LeHilchot [[Brachot]] #18 and M"Z 432:63, Mishna Brurah 124Halichot Shlomo ch. 20, Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:2437</ref># One should answer In Talmudic times each of the [[AmenBirchot HaShachar]] to any 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 hears whether would sit up he wishes to fulfill an obligation or not. Moreoverwould say, the obligation to respond [[AmenMatir]] even applies to a Bracha that does not contain Hashem's NameAsurim; etc. Nowadays, such as answering to because of a Mi Sheberach or HaRachaman. <ref>Shulchan Aruch 124:6, 189:5, 215:9 </ref># The proper intention concern of unclean hands when reciting the word [[Amen]] changes with the Bracha. When [[answering Amen]] to [[Birchot HaMitzvah]] or [[Birchot HaNeheninblessings]], one's intention should be to affirm as well as the truth prevalence of those without sufficient knowledge of the Bracha and his belief in it. When answering to Birchot HaShevachHalacha, one should have in mind that he is affirming we recite all the truth of that praise. When responding [[AmenBrachot]] to Tefillot at one's [[Amen]] should be a request of Hashem to fulfill that [[prayer]]time, after preparing oneself for Teffilah. <ref>Shulchan Aruch 12446:61-2, Mishna Brurah 124Aruch HaShulchan 46:259</ref># When reciting In three of the [[KiddushBirchot HaShachar]] on Friday night, we say the words "ויהי ערב ויהי בקר" quietly before saying "יום הששי". In truththank Hashem for not making us a non-Jew, ויהי ערב who isn't obligated in any mitzvot or a slave who is actually limited in the second part of the Passuk which precedes יום הששיmitzvot he is obligated in. We don’t say those words out loud because the first letters of יום הששי ויכלו השמים form the name of Men also recite a bracha thanking Hashemfor 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>Rama 271:10, Levush 271:10, Tur and Shulchan Aruch HaShulchan 27146:25, Chatom Sofer OC 104</ref> 
==Sources==
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