Are you allowed to say a bracha out loud in front of others if you have a saffek as to whether they will answer Amen? After reading the story of the “Levush” (HaRav Mordechai Yaffe) having been put in nidui by Mahari Abuhav after unintentionally not responding Amen to a child’s bracha (because Mahari Abuhav knew that he was sentenced to death from Heaven for not answering Amen and was trying to divert the decree), I started being cautious. Now my daughter was told in seminar that it is a halachic problem to make a bracha in such a case (perhaps because of “lifnei ivar lo titen michshol”).

What is the halacha in this case?

Answer:

If one is in the company of people who will not (or might not) answer Amen after the berachah, one should say the berachah quietly, so as not to cause them to transgress the obligation of answering amen (Ben Ish Chai, Year 1, Masei 14). Chayei Adam (6:1) writes that one who doesn’t answer Amen is punished, and the story mentioned at the end of Levush (Orach Chaim) is, as the question mentions, something to take note of.

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