Can one say amen over the phone or zoom ?
Does that mean that I can’t say Havdalah, and thereby fulfill the Havdala obligation of someone listening on the phone who would answer ‘Amen’?
Or if I’m watching a live event going on somewhere in the world, and a real time Bracha or Kaddish is being made, I am forbidden to respond with Amen or Y’hay Shmay Rabbah…"?
Is electronic video or audio evidence of a Bracha being recited any inferior to the waving of flags at the gigantic praying area of Alexandria, which allowed people 1/2 a mile away who heard nothing to get the signal to say Amen ?? What’s the shiur of distance where flags don’t work anymore and are as useless as you say electronic video is?
Of course you can. See Rashi Brachos 47a d.h. yesoma
יתומה - שלא שמע הברכה, אלא ששמע שעונין אמן, והא דאמרינן בהחליל (סוכה נ"א א’) שבאלכסנדריא של מצרים היו מניפים בסודרים כשהגיע עת לענות אמן אלמא לא שמעי וקא ענו, הנהו מידע ידעי שהם עונים אחר ברכה, ועל איזו ברכה הם עונים, אלא שלא היו שומעים את הקול.
We see that even if you didn’t really hear the bracha you can still answer if you know which bracha you are answering too.
Haham Ovadya ZTL permitted it for live broadcast but cannot be yose Mikra megilla.
and, what would be the harm? all that “Nope” will accomplish is people falling out of the practice of saying “Amen” - very bad.
I thought if it was in real time, then it’s ok?
Also what if someone is giving a bracha for good tidings etc on phone or you’re listening to prerecorded shiur that they say a bracha, for example for refua shleima or Mashiach to come?
Some good points being made here. I’ll address quickly now and maybe some other time we can go into greater detail.
For all those who mentioned Alexadria. Good job! That is the primary source for this discussion.
There are many poskim who have addressed this question and I’ll break it down into two categories.
Fulfilling a Mitzvah remotely. For example Havdalah via Zoom. There are poskim that go either way. The majority hold no good. Reason is - you need to hear the Bracha live. (Microphone is part of that debate). According to these Poskim (including Bet Yosef) in Alexandria those who were answering Amen weren’t being Yotzeh anything. Just answering Amen (for example Kaddish).
Answering Amen without fulfilling any obligation. Kadish Barechu…
While many are quick to compare it to the case in Alexandria as mentioned in the Gemara Sukkah, there’s one basic difference. In Alexandria they were all present. With Zoom, telephone… the listener isn’t present. The question is: is KNOWING that a Beracha is being recited enough to be permitted to answer Amen. Answer: Machloket
Rabbi Abadi maintains that one may not fulfill an obligation over the phone and one should not answer Amen over the phone.
P.S. To the best of my knowledge everyone agrees that if one is listening to something not in real time - no Amen.
So if someone is wishing one good wishes over the phone “have a great day at work !” is there any purpose/ Is it appropriate/does it still have power To say amen ?
That’s fine. It’s an appropriate response. Not the same as answering Amen to a Davar Shebikdusha
What if you are listening to a prerecorded shiur? They often start with dedicating it to refua shleima and end it with a bracha for Mashiach to come. Can you say amen to that? It’s a different kind of “amen” in these cases.
No Amen. The action of listening to the shiur acts as a Zechut for Refuah Shelema and helping bring Mashiach closer. Even without answering Amen.
I think it’s also worth noting that Zoom is not really “live” in the same way an analog telephone or radio broadcast might be. The video and audio goes through many steps of digital encoding and packet transfer over the internet. Though sometimes the delay is negligible (1-2 seconds) it still seems very different to me.
Good point. Not always 1-2 seconds. That depends on network latency. Either way it’s another reason not to respond to a Bracha…