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<p class="indent">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 (cited 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 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, 6766:7, 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 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>

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