Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 124 – Chazoras Hashatz and Answering Omayn

  • The conditions to be able to fulfill Tefilla by listening to the repetition:

a: You do not know how to daaven the Shemoneh Esray.

b: You must understand Lashon Hakodesh.

c: Pay attention to every word from beginning to end.

d: You may only answer omayn to the chazzan’s berachos but do not respond “Boruch hu uvoruch sh’mo”.

e: Do not talk or interrupt even to respond to another minyan’s Kedusha etc. (ShA 1 – MB 1,2,3)

  • In case of shaas hadchak (e.g. zman tefilla is almost over) the chazzan can begin his private Shemoneh Esray out loud and have the tzibbur follow along silently word by word until after “…hokayl hakadosh”.  (Rama 2)
  • If there is a little more time, the tzibbur should begin their silent Shemoneh Esray only after the chazzan finishes “…hokayl hakadosh.” (MB 8)
  • Even though everyone in the k’hal daavened and no one needs the repetition, the chazzan should still repeat the Shemoneh Esray out loud in order to fulfill the takana of Chazal. (ShA 3)
  • Since most people daaven too fast, the chazzan should wait until the rov ends his tefilla before beginning the repetition. If the rov is not present wait for that individual who daavens word for word so he will be able to answer Kedusha. If he is taking too long do not wait for him because of tircha d’tzibura. (MB 13)
  • Even if there are 10 men present, the minhag is not to begin daavening Shacharis until the rov enters. The rov should come on time so they will not need to wait. (MB 15)
  • While the chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esray no one should say the tefilla along with him. Just have kavana for his berachos and answer “Omayn”. You should not say with the chazzan even a few words from the middle of a beracha; certainly do not raise your voice to sing with him. That would seem arrogant and is like kallus rosh. Such practice should be rebuked. (ShA 4 – MB 16)
  • Do not say supplications or learn Torah during the repetition. (MB 17)
  • If there aren’t 9 men paying attention to the chazzan’s repetition it is almost all levatola. Therefore everyone should consider himself as if there are not 9 people besides him and listen to the entire beracha, not just the ending. (ShA 4 – MB 18)
  • If you are the chazzan in the above situation you can make a condition with yourself that if there are not 9 people answering omayn and paying attention to your berachos – then your tefilla will be a nedova. (MB 19)
  • As you listen to the repetition, it counts as if you yourself are daavening. Therefore the ancient minhag is to stand for the repetition. Even if you sit, it’s ossur to sit within 4 amos of the chazzan. (MB 20)
  • You should respond “Boruch hu uvoruch sh’mo” to most berachos . One exception is when you are at a point in daavening that you may not interrupt. (e.g. Pesukay D’zimra). Another exception is when listening to a beracha that you need. (e.g. Kiddush). Bedieved, it’s not considered an interruption. (ShA 5 – MB 21)
  • A chazzan should give a chance to the tzibbur to answer “Boruch hu uvoruch sh’mo” before completing the beracha. (MB22)
  • Some people are afraid to miss hearing the end of the beracha and therefore do not say “Boruch hu uvoruch sh’mo”. (ShaH24)
  • Answer “omayn” after every beracha. Your kavana should include:

a: I confirm that Hashem’s name should indeed be blessed.

b: It is true and I believe that praise (e.g. that Hashem was a shield for Avraham).

For a beracha of request add: 

c: I pray that the request should be fulfilled. (ShA 6 – MB 24,25)

  • The “omayn” for Kaddish includes only a hope that the request of the chazzan should be fulfilled speedily. (MB 25)
  • After the “omayn” of “…hamachazir sh’chinaso l’tzion”, pause. Then proceed to say Modim Derabbonan. (MB 25)
  • If you are answering two omayns simultaneously it is best to say “omayn v’omayn”. Have kavana for each omayn for what each is affirming.      (MB 25)
  • Do not chatter during the repetition – the transgression is too great to bear. Many shuls have been destroyed due to talking during tefilla. People should be appointed to oversee proper conduct during the repetition and administer rebuke to those who talk. (ShA 7 – MB 27)
  • The Shela writes “I have seen chareidim el d’var Hashem who open a siddur before them during the repetition. Their eyes and hearts are focused and thereby have kavana for each word.” (MB 26)
  • You should train your sons to stand with fear and trepidation and to answer omayn, for once a child answers omayn, he gains a portion in the world to come. (Rama 7 – MB 28)
  • Children who run around in laughter are too young to be brought to shul. (MB 28)
  • The following are disqualified responses:

a: Omayn Chatufa – “__mayn” “oomayn” “oimayn”

b: Saying “omayn” before the completion of the last word of the beracha.

c: Omayn Katufa – “omay__”

d: O…mayn

e: Omayn Yesoma

i:Saying omayn to a beracha that you need (e.g. Kiddush) but you did not hear the ending.

ii: Saying omayn to any beracha that you did not hear nor do you know which beracha was said.

iii:  “Omayn” after k’day dibbur of an individual’s beracha.

iv:   “Omayn” after most of the tzibbur has finished responding “omayn”. (ShA 8 – MB 29,30,34)

  • You should consider the berachos of Chazoras Hashatz like berachos that you need and therefore make sure to listen (especially) to the end of each beracha to respond “omayn”. B’dieved if you didn’t hear the end of the beracha, you can still answer “omayn” provided that you know which beracha was said. (MB 33)
  • If the chazzan is drawing out “v’imru omayn” of Kaddish, the k’hal should say “omayn” immediately since the main request ended with his recitation of “da’amiran b’alma” or “uvizman koreev” (MB 35)
  • You should draw out the pronunciation of your “omayn” a little bit. Enough time that it takes to say “Kayl Melech Ne’eman”. Pronouncing it too short seems as if it is a bother to say “omayn” – Pronouncing it too long will mutate the word. (ShA 8 -MB 36)
  • The chazzan should wait until most of the tzibbur is finished responding before continuing. This applies likewise to Kaddish – do not begin “Yisborach…” until most people have completed “Omayn. Yehay shemay rabba…olmaya” (ShA 9 – MB 37)
  • Responding omayn extends the life of the beracha since it becomes part of the beracha itself. Therefore, if the chazzan finishes “…mogen Avraham” and begins “Atta gibbor…” immediately, the beracha Mogen Avraham has been cut shorter than even k’day dibbur. Do not answer omayn – it will be an Omayn Yesoma. (ShaT 16 – MB 34,42)
  • While the tzibbur recites Modim D’rabbonon, the chazzan must be loud enough with his regular Modim to be motzi someone who may not be a boki – at least 10 people around him should be able to hear the beracha. (MB 41)
  • If you weren’t able to answer “omayn” immediately (e.g. you were just finishing Shemoneh Esray) you can still answer as long as most of the tzibbur is still drawing out the “omayn”. (ShA 11)
  • If you know which beracha the tzibbur is responding to, even though you did not hear the end of the beracha, you should chime in with them. The same applies to Kaddish and Kedusha. The same applies to “omayn” after the beracha of an individual. (Rama 11 – MB 45)
  • One who answers “omayn” should not raise his voice louder (nor softer – Maharatz Chius Berachos 45a) than the mevorach, unless your intention is to inspire others to answer together with you. This applies likewise to Borchu and Birkas Hazimun. (ShA 12 – MB 47)
  • You should answer omayn after the beracha of a child of chinuch age. You may answer omayn after the beracha of a woman blessing before a time-bound mitzvah. (MB 47)