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One may not answer אמן to a ברכה until the ברכה is totally finished. Too often the חזן lengthens out the last word of the ,ברכה particularly on ראש חודש or יום טוב and the מתפללים answer before the חזן is done. Where is the source for not answering אמן to a ברכה until it is totally finished, and what can the חזן do to avoid this problem?

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How do you know it's true that there should be a source for it? – Double AA Jul 13 '14 at 15:48

Where is the source for not answering אמן to a ברכה until it is totally finished

It's called an אמן חטופה and the Rambam (Hil. Brachot 1:14) already codifies it.

The source is from Brachot 47a. As the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:10) defines it:

גַּם יִזָּהֵר מְאֹד שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲנֶה אָמֵן קֹדֶם שֶׁסִּיֵּם הַמְבָרֵךְ כָּל הַבְּרָכָה, כִּי זֶהוּ אָמֵן חֲטוּפָה

See Shulchan Aruch 124:8 that אמן חטופה seems to have 2 meanings: Either swallowing the Alef or answering too early.

לֹא יַעֲנֶה אָמֵן חֲטוּפָה, דְּהַיְנוּ כְּאִלּוּ הָאָלֶ''ף נְקוּדָה בַּחֲטָף; וְכֵן שֶׁלֹּא יַחֲטֹף וִימַהֵר לַעֲנוֹת אוֹתוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּסַיֵּם הַמְבָרֵךְ

What can the חזן do to avoid this problem?

The חזן can educate the congregation - for example, pausing before the last word - while the early birds answer Amen - and then singing the last word. After a while the congregation will realize.

As in "Hamevarech Eth Amo Yisrae-e-e-e-e-e-e-l" - pause while the early birds answer Amen - "BaShalo-o-o-o-o-o-o-m". Ame-e-e-e-en.

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Another way to stop the אמן חטופה is for the chazzan not to draw out the end of the brocho but to terminate it abruptly. It may not fit the tune so beautifully but it should ensure that the אמן is said at the right point. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 14 '14 at 9:45

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