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Listening to kiddush of havdalah when it is being mumbled

Question:

Hi

On Shabbos, by Kiddush and Havdalah, my father murmurs the Brachos very quietly and sometimes we miss words. We try telling him to say it loud and sometimes he does, but some words still are slurred. Are we yotzei the Bracha? If not what should we do?

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

When we are being included in someone else’s kiddush etc. we have to listen to every word that was said. B’dieved though if the beginning of the bracha and the ending, (Boruch ato Hashem mekadesh Hashabbos) was heard the person was yotza. Regarding havdalah it would mean the beginning and the bracha hamavdil beil kodesh l’chol. This will help the situation most of the time.

There is another option, to say kiddish quietly along with your father. Regarding drinking the wine, it is preferable to drink a reviis, since you did say kiddish on your own. If possible, fill up another cup (preferably all the way) and drink a “male lugmav” (a cheek-full) from the kiddush wine. If that isn’t practical, you are yotza even if you drink less. You are also technically yotza according to some poskim even if you didn’t drink at all, (as long as someone there drank a male lugmov). Regarding havdalah, since we the minhag that no one else drinks from the cup, we will have to rely on this option. Just to reiterate, if the person will hear the beginning of the bracha and the end of the bracha then this option is not needed, and the person was yotza.

Best wishes

Sources:

O:CH 271-2, M:B 271-3, Biur Halacha ibid D:H D’ishkash, Biur Halacha 59 D”h v’lo amar, Shar Hatzion 213-20, Shmiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 47-39 ftnt. 180-181, Rav Poalim 2-41.

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