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Hilchos Kriyas Shema 59 (page 184)
מסעיף ג עד אמצע סעיף ד ולא יענה

Fulfilling the Obligation of a Beracha Through Hearing
Listening to a Beracha While Distracted
Reciting the Kedusha of Birchas Yotzer Ohr

Fulfilling the obligation of a beracha through hearing
Generally the rule of shomeia k'oneh allows a person to fulfill his obligation to recite a beracha through hearing it from someone else. Birchos kriyas Shema, though, can only be exempted if there is a minyan present. The poskim discuss whether birchos hashachar also require a minyan. The custom is to be lenient only when there is some uncertainty as to whether the person must recite the beracha. The poskim likewise discuss whether someone can fulfill his obligation to recite the berachos before and after food through listening. (Wine and bread can be exceptions when certain conditions are met - see Aruch Chaim 193:1 and 213:1.)
( סעיף ד, ס"ק כ ו־כג, וביה"ל ד"ה בפחות; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 15 ו־19)

Listening to a beracha while distracted
There are Rishonim who hold that if someone's mind wanders while he is trying to fulfill an obligation by listening to a beracha, he is not yotzei. The distraction is considered a hefseik.  According to these Rishonim, it is always advisable to recite long berachos oneself rather than to hear them, while in a potentially distracted state, from other people. The Mishna Berura presents numerous difficulties with this position and concludes that even this opinion agrees that a distracted listener is yotzei and that reciting the berachos independently is only a preference.
( ס"ק טו וביה"ל ד"ה עם)

Reciting the Kedusha of Yotzer Ohr
There is an opinion that the kedusha recited in the beracha of Yotzer Ohr is considered a davar sheb'kedusha that requires a minyan. A second opinion holds that it is not an actual kedusha, but simply a mention of the kedusha which the Malachim proclaim on High. It is not necessary to recite this kedusha along with a minyan; it is adequate if there is a minyan in the room. The custom is to recite this kedusha even without a minyan present, but it is recommended that the words be read with the Torah cantillations ( trup).
( סעיף ג וס"ק י-יא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 8)

  • If someone concluded the final words of a beracha incorrectly but immediately (toch k'dei dibur) corrected himself, he has fulfilled his obligation.
  • The poskim discuss whether toch kdei dibur is the span of time it takes to say three or four words. The Mishna Berura concludes that it is the span of three words.
  • The poskim discuss whether someone who erred while reciting a 'long beracha' must repeat the beracha. According to some poskim, including the Mechaber, as long as the main focus was mentioned at the beginning or middle of the beracha and the conclusion was said properly, the beracha is valid.

  • Answering Amen to birchos kriyas Shema according to the Mechaber

  • Answering Amen to birchos kriyas Shema according to the Rama

  • When to answer Amen to Ahava Rabbah/AhavasOlam according to all



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.