Halachot of Berachot
Questions and Answers
Interruptions – Hefsekim
- Between Bracha and Eating
- Between making the bracha and eating, one may not interrupt with speech and should even try to reduce the time of just sitting there quietly. Additionally, one shouldn’t hymn a tune or say “Shah” until he both chews and swallows a bit.
- One should not respond Amen to another’s bracha. However if he did so, and the other guy was also making a bracha on bread then it is fine. If, however, the other guy was making any other bracha – then the first guy would need to repeat his bracha in order to eat his bread since he interrupted.
- If one is planning on being fulfilled through another’s bracha, then he should answer “Amen” right after the bracha and wait until the blesser eats before he eats.
- If the listener interrupted with speech, he should make a new bracha. If the blesser interrupted, then he should repeat the bracha and all the listeners are placed in a state of uncertainty as to what they should do. The poskim advise not to repeat the bracha out of uncertainty. However, if possible, they should just listen again to a blesser making his bracha.
- One may speak about things needed for the meal during this gap and this wouldn’t be considered an interruption. For example, one may ask for the salt or anything else necessary for either the food he will be immediately eating or anything for the meal as a whole.
- However, many poskim advise that if you could do with out the item for the moment, then it’s better not to interrupt with speech. For example, one makes a bracha on coffee and then finds out that sugar wasn’t added. Although he could ask for the sugar at this point, it would be better just to drink without sugar a tiny sip and after put in the sugar.
- One shouldn’t gesture with his fingers, but BedeEved the bracha counts.
- Interruptions in middle of the bracha
- One may not speak in middle of the bracha for anything. And BedeEved the bracha isn’t Yotzei.
- According to some, even pausing (without speaking) for several seconds would be a hefsek. However, BedeEved we would not repeat the bracha.
- One shouldn’t gesture with his fingers and BedeEved is unclear.
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