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__NOGLOSSARY__<p styleclass="text-indent: 2em">The Gemara [[Brachot]] 45b says that one shouldn't answer [[amen]] to one's own bracha except for the bracha of [[Boneh]] Yerushalayim. Rashi (45b s.v. Ha) explains that [[Boneh]] Yerushalayim is only an example; in reality, the same would be true of any bracha that completed a series of [[brachot]]. [[Boneh]] Yerushalayim itself concludes the series of biblical [[brachot]] of [[Birkat HaMazon]].<ref>A number of rishonim agree with Rashi that [[Boneh]] Yerushalayim was only representative including the Rabbenu Chananel (cited by Tosfot 45b s.v. Ha), Bahag (ibidcited by Tosfot 45b s.v.Ha), Rif ([[Brachot]] 33b), Rabbenu Yonah ([[Brachot]] 33b s.v. Ha DeAni), Rashba ([[Brachot]] 45b s.v. Lo Kasha), Rosh, and Shitah Mikubeset ([[Brachot]] 45b s.v. Ha BeShaar).</ref> For example, according to Rashi, after the [[brachot]] of [[Kriyat Shema]] one should answer [[amen]] since it completes a sequence of [[brachot]]. Tosfot (45b s.v. Ha), however, notes that the common minhag was only to answer [[amen]] to one's own bracha after [[Boneh]] Yerushalayim.<ref>The Mordechai ([[Brachot]] 162) and Maharik 2:31 (cited by the Bet Yosef 51:3) are in agreement with Tosfot.</ref>The Rif cites a Yerushalmi that lists a number of instances where one should answer Amen to his own Beracha, including Birchat HaTorah, Sim Shalom, the ending Brachot of the Haftarah, and <i>any Birchot haMitzvah</i>. The Rosh explains that the scope encapsulates any series of Brachot, such as Birchot Kriyat Shema. The Rambam (Hilchot Brachot 1:16) limits it only to a series of ending Brachot, thereby excluding Yishtabach, Hallel, and Kriyat HaTorah, which only have one closing Bracha. There are a number of other opinions among the Rishonim about answering Amen to Bracha Rishonahs on food and Mitzvot, but their opinions have not been accepted LeHalacha. For examples, see the Further References section.</p><p styleclass="text-indent: 2em">While the Ashkenazic minhag is simple and follows Tosfot<ref>The Rama 215:1 writes that Ashkenazic minhag is in accordance with Tosfot.</ref>, the Sephardic minhag seems not to follow Rashi , Tosfot, or Tosfotthe Rambam. The Tur 215:1 comments that As the common minhag of his location was Sephardic tradition is to answer [[amen]] after Yishtabach (OC 51:4) and [[Hallel]], but not after Birchat HaTorah for [[Kriyat HaTorah]] or [[Bracha Achrona]]. <ref>See Tur-Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 51:4, 66:7, 111:1, 188:1, and 215:1, 236:4</ref> According to Rashi, seemingly one should have answered [[amen]] to all of the above, while Tosfot the Rambam would have opted for not forbid answering [[amen]] Amen to any Yishtabach and Hallel. To make things more puzzling, The Tur 215:1 comments that the minhag of themhis father, the Rosh, was to follow the Rambam. </p><p class="indent">In defense of the minhag, the Beit Yosef 51:3 suggests that really one should only answer [[amen]] to a concluding bracha if it concludes a sequence of [[brachot]] which were established to be said together, formally termed [[bracha]] ha'semucha lechaverta]]. However, when it comes to an opening and closing Bracha, since there's some act of eating or Mitzvah in between the Brachot, the two Brachot are each considered an individual Bracha. He adds that the [[brachot]] of [[Pesukei DeZimrah]] and [[Hallel]] are considered as if they were consecutive since they surround pesukim of praise and are themselves forms of praise.<ref>The Beit Yosef explains this understanding within the opinion of the Rambam. </p><p class="indent">He also cites the Mahari Ben Lev Maharalnach who explains a similar offers alternative explanation within via the opinion of the Roshthat any two Brachot which one may interrupt in between are not considered Semuchot Lechaverta/a series, so Baruch Sh'amar and Yishtabach are really considered a series of Brachot, as one may not interrupt between them. The Kaf HaChaim 51:6 writes same is true for the opening and closing Brachot of Hallel, but not Brachot on food. And it is in this aspect alone that the Tur meant that his father agreed with the Rambam.</p>===What is the Sephardic minhag follows logic for such a distinction?===<p class="indent">Rabbeinu Yonah explains that answering Amen indicates the Shulchan Aruch conclusion of a process. Hence, it is inappropriate to answer Amen to one's Bracha, make another Bracha, answer [[amen]] after Yishtabach Amen to it, and so on, as one is stopping and starting over and [[Hallel]]over again. </ref>That’s why the Gemara (above) only called it “Meguneh” and not Assur</p><p styleclass="text-indent: 2em">What is the logic for such a distinction? Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe O.C. 5:9:1) explains that when one answers [[amen]] after a regular bracha it seems as though one is adding onto the institution of chazal. When one finishes a series of [[brachot]], however, one may answer [[amen]] to one's own bracha because in such a case, [[amen]] is seen as a conclusion of a section and not an addition to the text of chazal. He compares this to the Gemara [[Brachot]] 34b which forbids one from bowing during Shemona Esrei at points where chazal didn't institute an obligation to bow since it appears as though one is adding onto chazal's establishment.</p><p class="indent">Rav Moshe HaLevi (Birkat Hashem vol. 1, 6:15:50) writes that Amen is an affirmation of what the Mevarech said, so, in general, it doesn’t make sense to affirm one’s own words. Only when Chazal instituted certain Brachot in a series may one answer Amen to himself. It is not, however, an issue of Hefsek, as he quotes the Meiri (Magen Avot 1:17 and Beit HaBechirah Brachot 45b) who says there’s no real Hefsek even if one talks between a Bracha Rishonah and performing the action of the Bracha (see Brachot 40a and 42b)<ref>And also Brachot 47a and Rashi s.v. Ad Sheyichleh Amen</ref>, so, certainly, answering Amen isn’t a Hefsek. Similar to the Rabbeinu Yonah, he explains that Amen is really a part of the Bracha</p> <p>Lastly, The Kaf HaChaim 51:6 writes that the Sephardic minhag follows the Shulchan Aruch to answer [[amen]] after Yishtabach and [[Hallel]].</p> ==Further References==#See further Ritva Hilchot Brachot 6:5, Birkeh Yosef OC 215:1, Yosef Ometz 68, Yechave Daat 2:23, Yabia Omer vol. 8 OC 25:10 and vol 9 OC 108:102, Ohr LeTzion vol. 2 page 134, and Halichot Olam vol. 2 page 130

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