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In certain prayers, the congregation interjects the word Amein after certain words/phrases. In The Ya'aleh V'yavo, I hear it in the last section, amidst these three statements

זָכְרֵנוּ ה' אֱלהֵינוּ בּו לְטובָה. וּפָקְדֵנוּ בו לִבְרָכָה. וְהושִׁיעֵנוּ בו לְחַיִּים

I also hear it on Rosh Chodesh, during Musaf (here, page 12).

And I recall it on Shabbat/Rosh Chodesh in Musaf

רְצֵה בִמְנוּחָתֵנוּ וְחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ בְּיום הַשַּׁבָּת הַזֶּה אֶת הַחדֶשׁ הַזֶּה. לְטובָה וְלִבְרָכָה. לְששון וּלְשמְחָה. לִישׁוּעָה וּלְנֶחָמָה. לְפַרְנָסָה וּלְכַלְכָּלָה. לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלום. לִמְחִילַת חֵטְא וְלִסְלִיחַת עָון

Finally, I think it is said at the end of Birchat Hachodesh

יְחַדְּשֵׁהוּ הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל עַמּו בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בְּכָל מָקום שֶׁהֵם. לְטובָה וְלִבְרָכָה. לְששון וּלְשמְחָה. לִישׁוּעָה וּלְנֶחָמָה. לְפַרְנָסָה טובָה וּלְכַלְכָּלָה. לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלום. לִשְׁמוּעות טובות. וְלִבְשורות טובות. בחורף - וְלִגְשָׁמִים בְּעִתָּם. וְלִרְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה. וְלִגְאוּלָה קְרובָה

I don't know if there are other instances (or other holidays) in which this practice finds a home. If I have forgotten any, apologies.

I am not sure where this practice originates but I'm wondering why it ISN'T the case in other situations where a litany of wishes is used. Specifically, at the outset of Birchat Hachodesh, I don't recall that the word Amein is said by the congregation

וְתִתֶּן לָנוּ חַיִּים אֲרוּכִּים. חַיִּים שֶׁל שָׁלום. חַיִּים שֶׁל טובָה. חַיִּים שֶׁל בְּרָכָה. חַיִּים שֶׁל פַּרְנָסָה. חַיִּים שֶׁל חִלּוּץ עֲצָמות. חַיִּים שֶׁיֵשׁ בָּהֶם יִרְאַת שָׁמַיִם וְיִרְאַת חֵטְא. חַיִּים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם בּוּשָׁה וּכְלִמָּה. חַיִּים שֶׁל עשֶׁר וְכָבוד. חַיִּים שֶׁתְּהֵא בָנוּ אַהֲבַת תּורָה וְיִרְאַת שָׁמַיִם. חַיִּים שֶׁיִּמָלְאוּ מִשְׁאֲלות לִבֵּנוּ לְטובָה

Are there rules for when this should or should not be inserted or why it has become accepted to say it in some cases but not others?

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  • 2
    Also birchas tal/geshem
    – Jay
    May 7, 2019 at 0:53
  • 2
    Nice Q. I'll see if beureihatefillah has something to say about this. Sephardim tend to have far more responses than Ashkenazim do, overall.
    – DanF
    May 7, 2019 at 2:38
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    Many Sephardic congregations add amen in many lists of blessings, like in the last part of the central benediction of the amida on the sabbath and holidays ("קדשנו במצותיך ותן חלקנו בתורתך שבענו...‏"). In fact, I suspect the rule for such congregations is simple: add it to any list of blessings. If you're asking specifically about Ashkenazic congregations, I recommend you edit to indicate as much.
    – msh210
    May 7, 2019 at 10:16
  • @msh210 do Sephardic congregations add it to the first part of Birchat Hachodesh?
    – rosends
    May 7, 2019 at 10:29
  • (re your comment addressed to me) I don't recall. Probably — if they say that paragraph at all (which I also don't recall).
    – msh210
    May 7, 2019 at 14:55

1 Answer 1

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Magen Avraham 215:3

When one hears someone praying, speaking, or blessing the people of Israel, even without mentioning the name, one must respond 'Amen.' Therefore, the custom has spread to answer 'Amen' after the 'Harahaman's.

Haemek Sh'elah 53:2

It doesn't fit into the category of an absolute obligation. It's just a measure of piety.

I have heard in the name of Rabbi Asher Hatchuel that this is not speaking about the middle of tefillah (ya'aleh v'yavo). In the middle of tefillah it would be considered an interruption and should not be done. In places where it is already the custom to do it then one can respond Amen.

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