If one did not hear some of the words in a blessing, is he Yotzei?

If one did not hear some of the words in a blessing, is he Yotzei?[1]

One does not fulfill his obligation with any blessing, even if he answers Amen[2], unless he hears the [entire[3]] blessing from the beginning until the end. [Thus, if one did not hear the word Baruch in the beginning of the blessing, he does not fulfill his obligation.[4] Furthermore, the above ruling implies that one must hear every single word of the blessing, and if one missed even one word from anywhere in the blessing, it is invalid. However, in truth, the Poskim[5] clarify that this applies only to those words that are considered the main dialect of the blessing, as established by the Sages, in which case, if one did not hear one of those words, he does not fulfill his obligation. However, if one did not hear a word, or words, that are not part of the main dialect of the blessing, then he fulfills his obligation, just as is the law regarding if one said the blessing himself, and skipped those words. In the following we will now discuss which words are considered part of the main dialect, and which are not:]

A short blessing: By all short, one sentence blessings, the following words are considered part of the main dialect, and if the word was skipped, or not heard, one does not fulfill his obligation: The word “Baruch[6]”; Hashem’s name[7]; Melech[8]; Haolam[9], and the conclusion which mentions that which one is blessing Hashem for.[10] Some Poskim[11] rule that the word “Ata” is not considered part of the main dialect, and if one did not hear it, he fulfills his obligation. Other Poskim[12] however rule that every single word of a short blessing is considered part of the main dialect, and if one missed even one word, he does not fulfill his obligation. [Based on the above, if one did not hear Hashem’s name, or the word Baruch, or the Melech Haolam, in the blessing of Hagafen, or Hamotzi, or in the concluding blessing of Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol, or in the concluding blessing of Mikadeish Hashabbos of Kiddush, he does not fulfill his obligation, and must repeat the blessing. Regarding the other words, it is questionable whether one fulfills his obligation[13], and in all cases of doubt, Safek Brachos Lihakel, although one is to escape the question by hearing the blessing again from another person.]

A long blessing: A blessing which contains an opening and concluding blessing, such as Havdala, Kiddush, Asher Yatzar and the like, if one did not hear all the words in the short concluding blessing, or in the very beginning of the long blessing[14], then this follows the same law as stated above. If, however, he missed a middle word, or section, in the long opening blessing, then whether he fulfills his obligation depends on if the missed word is part of the main dialect of the blessing [Ikkur Tofes Habrach], or not.[15] In many cases, it is unclear as to which words are part of the main dialect, and which are not, and in all cases of doubt, one is to try and hear the blessing again from another person, in order to fulfill his obligation according to all.

 

Summary:

In order to be Yotzei a blessing from another person, one must hear him say the entire blessing from beginning to end. If one missed a word that is part of the main dialect of the blessing, he does not fulfill his obligation, and possibly, by a short one sentence blessing, every word is part of the main dialect and he does not fulfill his obligation if he missed even one word. However, by long blessings, there are words that are not part of the main dialect of the blessing, and if one missed one of those words, he fulfills his obligation. In many cases, it is unclear as to which words are part of the main dialect, and which are not, and in all cases of doubt, one is to try and hear the blessing again from another person, in order to fulfill his obligation according to all.

 

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[1] Admur 213:4 “From beginning until the end”; Michaber 213:3; Rambam Brachos 1:11; Teshuvas Harambam Pear Hador 101; Brachos 53b; Yerushalmi Brachos 8:5; Megillah 1:9; Sefer Hamichtam and Hashlama ibid; Ravya 153 and 159; Peri Chadash 124; P”M 124 M”Z 4; See also Admur 59:4 regarding having Kavana when hearing Shema; 124:2 and 14 regarding hearing Shemone Esrei that must hear from beginning to end; 183:10 and 193:1 regarding listening to every word of Birchas Hamazon.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one fulfills his obligation if he answers Amen to a blessing, and he knows the identity of the blessing, even if he did not hear the blessing. [Beis Yosef 124 in opinion of Rashi and Tosafus, which is the 2nd opinion in Admur 124:11; See however Peri Chadash ibid and Mamar Mordechai 124:11] Other Poskim rule that by a Chazan with a Minyan, one fulfills his obligation if he answers Amen to a blessing, and he knows the identity of the blessing, even if he did not hear the entire blessing but only its end. [Raavad brought in Michtam and Rashbatz and Meiri Brachos 47a]

[2] However, initially, he may not answer Amen if he needs to be Yotzei this blessing,. But cannot due to not hearing it properly. [Admur 124:11; M”A 124:13; Bach 124]

[3] Tur 215:1 “However, if he ate, he is not Yotzei until he hears the entire blessing”; Bach 213 “The entire blessing from beginning until the end”; Beis Yosef 213 “He does not fulfill his obligation until he hears the entire blessing from beginning until the end”

[4] Implication of all Poskim ibid; M”B 213:19 “This includes also the word Baruch”

[5] Shaar Hatziyon 213:3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1; Biur Halacha 59:4 “Im Hashliach Tzibur” says this applies by the long blessings; See Admur 124:14 “Since he may not hear from the Chazan some words that invalidate the prayer”; 184:10 “Perhaps he will not hear an invalidating word.”

[6] Implication of all Poskim ibid; M”B 213:19 “This includes also the word Baruch”

[7] Admur 214:1; Michaber 214:1; Kaf Hachaim 214:3; See M”B 214:4 that this only applies if one skipped, or did not hear any of Hashem’s names. If, however, one heard one of the names, such as Adono-y, or Elohei-nu, then he fulfills his obligation; See Admur 167:13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1

[8] Admur 214:1; Michaber 214:1; Levush 214; Chayeh Adam 5:3; Chesed Lealafim 214:1; Ben Ish Chaiy Balak 2; Sdei Chemed Brachos 1:37; Kaf Hachaim 214:3 based on Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos p. 3, and Peri Eitz Chaim Brachos 2;

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the word Melech does not invalidate the blessing if it is omitted or not heard. [Halachos Ketanos 1:268]

[9] Admur 214:2; Michaber 214:1; Levush 214; Beis Yosef in name of Tosefos; Chayeh Adam 5:3; Chesed Lealafim 214:1; Ben Ish Chaiy Balak 2; Biur Halacha 214:1 “Veafilu”; Kaf Hachaim 214:3 based on Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos p. 3, and Peri Eitz Chaim Brachos 2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the word Haolam possibly does not invalidate the blessing if it is omitted or not heard. [Even Haozer, brought in Biur Halacha ibid; Halachos Ketanos 1:268]

[10] Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1; See however Admur 167:13 that if one said Brich Rachamana and did not conclude with the word Pita, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation since he said “Dehaiy” and it was sitting before him; See M”B 167:53 regaridng several words skipped; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1 footnote 10 regarding if one skipped “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivanu”

[11] M”B 214:4; Divrei Chamudos; Implication of Admur 214:2 who omits the word Ata from the main dialect of the Sages; Piskeiy Teshuvos 214:1

[12] Kaf Hachaim 214:3 based on Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos p. 3, and Peri Eitz Chaim Brachos 2, and that so should be followed, as we do not apply the rule of Safek Brachos Lihakel to the Arizal.

[13] As a) Perhaps the missed word was part of the main dialect of the Sages; b) Perhaps we rule like the Kaf Hachaim ibid in name of Arizal, that if one misses even one word of the short blessings he does not fulfill his obligation.

[14] See Admur 187:4 that one must hear the beginning of the long blessing; M”B 187:4

[15] See Admur 66:12 regarding which words may be skipped in Emes Veyatziv; 68:1 regarding Shemoneh Esrei; 187:4 regarding which words may be skipped in Birchas Hamazon; Piskeiy Teshuvos 296/4 footnote 31 regarding which words may be skipped in Havdala

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