[Avodah] How do Chabad deal with the Amen of Krias Shema

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Feb 20 15:26:51 PST 2013

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 09:09:11AM +1100, Dr Isaac Balbin wrote:
: Picture the scenario, ... normally you don't say the Bracha immediately
: before Shema loudly, and in fact are basically inaudible when you are
: Chazan, so that others don't need to be in the conundrum of saying Amen.

: How though, ... do you deal with a Chazan who says the Bracha loudly
: and clearly.

: Do you say it word for word with him, like others?

I would think this best solves the problem. You usually try to avoid the
machloqes about saying amein, and this does so. You don't need to hear his
berakhah as you're making your own.

: With Go-al Yisroel, which I understand you are meant to say audibly,
: many finish their own bracha and commence Shemoneh Esreh so that they
: won't be in a position to say Amen.

Not everyone ends Ga'al Yisrael audibly either. RAZZ has a good discussion
at http://www.ou.org/index.php/jewish_action/article/50278 .

He notes that the old minhag was to be quiet, and there are numberous
later rabbanim who pushed restoring this -- RYBS, the Satmar Rav, R'
SY Weinberg, R YZ Dushinsky, RSZA (who also quotes R Henken), R' Vozner,
RALichtenstein, and the list goes on.

The AhS would have you end the berakhah out loud, but notes that this was
not the common minhag.

Here's the relevent snippet most parallel to what you asked about Birkhas
    To recap: This entire discussion is relevant only to those who follow
    the Rema; those who follow the ruling of the Mechaber conclude Ga'al
    Yisrael out loud, do not answer Amen and proceed directly to Shemoneh
    Esrei. However, the Rema ruled that one is required to recite Amen,
    even though this may appear to be an interruption. Because many
    congregants want to satisfy most halachic opinions on the matter,
    various ways of conducting oneself when reciting Ga'al Yisrael
    have evolved. Options include finishing Ga'al Yisrael before the
    sha"tz and answering Amen to his berachah (like the Rema suggests)
    or avoiding the obligation to say Amen by beginning Shemonei Esrei
    before the sha"tz concludes Ga'al Yisrael, by concluding Ga'al
    Yisrael together with the sha"tz or by having the sha"tz complete
    the berachah silently.

Last time we discussed this, I wondered how amein /could/ be considered
a hefseiq. We justified the entire Hashkeveinu as a Ge'ulah arickhta,
how would confirming Ge'ulah itself with an "amein" be worse?

Perhaps this question only works for Maariv, which:
1- Is a "reshus", or at least was once; and
2- In at least one variant of Nusach EY, they didn't even try for semichus
   ge'ulah letefillah. It's mentioned in Y-mi Berakhos. They held that the
   iqar QSh at night is in Maariv, and therefore they said Shema at the
   end -- after Shemoneh Esrei. (Which in EY actually had 18 berakhos,
   even after Velameshumadim was added.)

: The one Bracha where everyone says Amen after, is Boneh Berachamov
: in Benching.

Ashkenazim do this to separate between Birkhas haMazon deOraisa and the
4th berakhah. Sepharadim might have a second reason, to wit:
: Sefardim of course have no issue saying Amen after their own Brachos
: as per their Rishonim/Poskim.

To reiterate RAE's point, at the end of a series of berakhos semuchos
lechavertos, al pi haRambam. I don't think HaTov vehaMeitiv is written
as a berakhah hasemuchah -- it begins with "barukh". But there is only
one "barukh", so I'm not sure if being derabbanan set it apart from the
series in this way too.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A person lives with himself for seventy years,
micha at aishdas.org        and after it is all over, he still does not
http://www.aishdas.org   know himself.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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