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Mishna B'rura 91:16 cites a difference of opinion regarding whether one should respond "amen" to the shatz's (leader's) blessing immediately before "Sh'ma" or should, on the contrary, finish saying the blessing along with the shatz in order to avoid saying "amen".

I know of people who act according to one view, and of people who act according to the other.

But I also know of people who finish saying the blessing along with the shatz during shacharis (the morning prayer service) and answer "amen" to the shatz during maariv (the evening service). Does anyone have a source or reason or provenance for this?

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Is Maariv being davened early? If it's at a time when Keriat Shema is not being done for the Mitzva, then there is no reason (aside from lo plug) to not say Amen, as that bracha is definitely not functioning as a birkat hamitzva where hefsek would be a problem. (Same would apply to a late Shacharit.) – Double AA May 8 '13 at 6:17
@DoubleAA, no, this is at any maariv. – msh210 May 8 '13 at 14:42
It might be based on their reading of the Shulchan Aruch and Rama (OC 59:4), where the Shulchan Aruch says to "recite birkas yotzeir and arvis together with the sh'liach tzibbur," upon which the Rama adds that one should "hurry to finish before the sh'liach tzibbur and answer amein after him." Then the Shulchan Aruch proceeds to write: "And one should not answer amein after the conclusion of habocheir b'amo Yisra'el b'ahava, for that would be a hefsek," upon which the gloss adds "and see later on in Siman 61." (In 61:3, the Rama says one should also answer in the morning). – Fred May 8 '13 at 17:12
... If this is really the source of the practice, it seems to be based on an incorrect interpretation of the opinions of the Shulchan Aruch and Rama. – Fred May 8 '13 at 17:18

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