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<p class="indent">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 the Rambam. As the 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 OC 51:4, 67:7, 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 the Rambam would forbid answering Amen to Yishtabach and Hallel. To make things more puzzling, The Tur 215:1 comments that the minhag of his 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. 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 offers alternative explanation via the opinion of the Rosh that any two Brachot which one may interrupt in between are not considered Semuchot Lechaverta/a series, so Baruch Sheamar and Yishtabach are really considered a series of Brachot, as one may not interrupt between them. The 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><p class="indent">==What is the logic for such a distinction? ===<p>The Beit Yosef Mishnah Brurah (above215:1) explains that answering Amen indicates the conclusion of a process. Hence, it is inappropriate to answer Amen to one's Bracha, make another Bracha, answer Amen to it, and so on, as one is stopping and starting over and over again. That’s why the Gemara (above) only called it “Meguneh” and not Assur</p><p>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>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, so, certainly, answering Amen isn’t a Hefsek. Similar to the Mishnah Brurah, 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>
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