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Where in halachah does it say that one shouldn't answer amein to someone else's berachah, if they have food in their mouth?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This halacha is mentioned in Kol Bo (§24). The Kol Bo mentions two possible reasons1 for why someone should not answer amein with food in his mouth:

  • Just as a person should not recite a b'racha with food in his mouth,2 he should not answer amein to a b'racha if food is in his mouth.

  • It is dangerous to talk with food in one's mouth.

The Kol Bo prefers the second reason, and he reads the Y'rushalmi (B'rachos 6:6) as implying that one should not answer amein with food in his mouth due to danger.3

1 The Kol Bo mentions another interpretation of the Y'rushalmi (quoted in fn. 3 below) that a person who is eating will not be yotzei on another person's b'racha because he will be concentrating on eating rather than on the b'racha.

2 Based on the Y'rushalmi (B'rachos 6:1): רבי יצחק בר מרי קומי רבי יוסי ב"ר אבון בשם רבי יוחנן אפילו אוכלין פולטן דכתיב ימלא פי תהילתך כל היום תפארתך

3 שאלו את בן זומא מפני מה בא להן יין בתוך המזון כל אחד ואחד מברך לעצמו אמר להן מפני שאין בית הבליעה פנוי א"ר מנא הדא אמרה אהן דעטיש גו מיכלא אסור למימר ייס בגין סכנתא דנפשא

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Does the mishnah berurah talk about this? – Chiddushei Torah Jul 16 '14 at 21:37
@ChiddusheiTorah Not as far as I recall, but the Mishna B'rura does explain the problem with reciting blessings with food in one's mouth (172:7). One acharon who indicates it is a problem to answer amein with food in one's mouth is the מטה משה (Amud HaAvoda §299). I also found another rishon who mentions this (Ohel Mo'eid, Sha'ar B'rachos 6:2). – Fred Jul 16 '14 at 22:15
I mean, does the mishnah berurah say that one shouldn't answer amein to someone else's berachah, if they have food in their mouth? – Chiddushei Torah Jul 16 '14 at 22:32
@ChiddusheiTorah I don't think so, but aside from the requirement of ימלא פי תהילתך mentioned by the Mishna B'rura in my above comment (172:7), see the Shulchan Aruch (OC 170:1) who explains that saying even a single word while eating is prohibited due to danger (see also Mishna B'rura 170:1,2 for clarification). – Fred Jul 16 '14 at 22:39
@ChiddusheiTorah - If the other person is making a bircat hanehin, esp. on the food that he's eating, isn't swallowing the food in a sense, the "completion" of the bracha that he made on the food? I.e. - it goes along with the concept that one should not answer "Amen" until the bracha has been completed? – DanF Jul 17 '14 at 16:21

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