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Can one answer Omein (Amen) to the blessing of a child?

Wednesday, 6th June 2018

 
If a child is old enough to know a brocho (blessing), and knows L'mi mevorech (to whom he is reciting the Brocho), can one answer Amen?

According to Rabbi Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach, you even can answer Amen to a young child's Brocho if he does not know L'Mi Mevarech, as doing so is training him that Amen is answered after Brochos are recited!

The Mishna Berura (Siman 2215:16) doesn't seem to hold this way, but many contemporary commentators agree with Rabbi Auerbach, and in fact it is the prevelant custom to answer Amen after very small children's Brochos.

Some want to suggest that if possible, only part of the word Amen should be said, as the child should think you are answering Amen, while in fact you havent said the real word, and thus would satisfy both the Mishna Berura and Rabbi Auerbach's view.

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