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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>
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==Summary of the Daily Halacha's==
# There are four common mistakes when responding אמן. ## One must make sure pronounce the kamatz under the Aleph of shouldn't answer [[Amen]], otherwise it louder than the Bracha itself unless one is considered an doing so in order to motivate others to answer [[Amen]] Chatufa. Additionally, <ref>Gemara [[AmenBrachot]] Chatufa includes when someone responds [[Amen]] before the bracha has been completed. <ref> S"A 45a, Shulchan Aruch 124:812, Biur Halacha Mishna Brurah 124:8 s.v. Kriyat47</ref>## One If one hears two Berachat, one should ensure to pronounce the nun of answer [[Amen]], otherwise it is considered an VeAmen rather than [[Amen]] Katufa. <ref> S"A 124:8, Biur Halacha 124:8 s.v. Kriyat</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]] 47a25</ref>## If Some say that one didn't hear a bracha, one shouldn't should answer [[Amen]], otherwise it would be considered an [[Amen Yetoma]]. If one didn't hear the to a 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 heard over the whole bracha, one can answer [[amen]] even though he will not fulfill his obligation.phone<refRef>Mishna Brurah 124Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe 4:31 and 12491:34, S"A 124:84)</ref># According to AshkenazimWhen hearing the words Baruch Atta Hashem, one should not answer "Baruch Hu UBaruch Shemo". The Chazzan should pause to give the congregation a chance to respond [[Amen]] to one's own bracha"Baruch Hu UBaruch Shemo". If, after making a bracha on food, # One should not say "Baruch Hu UBaruch Shemo" when one answered [[Amen]] intends to fulfill an obligation by listen to onesomeone else's own bracha, it is considered a and when spoken interruptions are prohibited such as [[HefsekPesukei DeZimrah]]. Also, if someone else made the same bracha at the same time that he did, he should not respond and [[AmenBirchot Kriyat Shema]] because it sounds like he is responding [[Amen]] to his own bracha.<ref>S"A 215124:15, Mishna Brurah 215124:1 and 21, 22, Maharam Shik 51, Igrot Moshe 2:394</ref> 
==Sources==
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