Question:

At was at my parents home for shabbat, and when my father was saying havadallah, he was mumbling some of the words, and I couldn’t hear all the words he was saying. Out of respect for my father, and not wanting to embarrass him, I did not want to ask him to repeat the brachot, and answered amein. I also didn’t want to make another havadallah or ask my husband to repeat it for me later, as we were staying the night at my parents and if my father saw us, he would again be embarrassed. For some of the brachot that were VERY unclear, I repeated them quietly to myself before fulfilling the action (smelling the besamim, holding my hands up to the candle, etc).
Considering that I answered amein to his brachot, repeated some brachot to myself and I had davened Maariv with the hamavdil paragraph in the amidah, can I assume that I have fulfilled my obligation for havadallah?
I know he has the full intention while reciting the brachot and while it wasn’t clearly audible to me, I truly believe he felt as though he was properly reciting the brachot
moving forward, should I have repeated the brachot i couldn’t hear, or is this enough to assume the brachot he recited are valid enough to be yotzei his brachot?
And if I answered amein to his Bracha and then quietly repeated it to myself, while accepting some of his other brachot as part of my havadallah, would the brachot I said be considered brachot l’vatatot? And would repeating some imply I wasn’t being yotzei with his havadallah, even if my intention from the start was to hear havadallah from my father and be yotzei with him?
Thanks so much

Answer:

When someone is being yotza a bracha from someone else, all the words of the bracha must be heard. If the person missed some of the words, if they are words that are me’akev in the bracha, i.e. words that if the person saying the bracha missed, he would have to repeat the bracha, such as the words Boruch ato H-shem, Elokeinu Melech haolam at the beginning, the words hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol, and the bracha at the end.  If you didn’t hear the words hamvdil, you can say them along with your father, however the actual bracha, (Boruch ato etc.) is controversial if it can be said when you are not holding the kos.

Sources:

Ben Ish Chai Bereshis 2-15, Shut R’ Akiva Eiger

Tags: havdalah

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