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Have you ever watched Stisel or a similar movie? Every several minutes somebody blesses over something, and usually, it is a proper blessing.

Should we answer amen to them?

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2 Answers 2

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A movie is a recording of the past, the blessing is not happening in front of you when watching the movie. It’s documentation of an event that already happened. You do not have to amen the blessing because the blessing was actualized in the past. You are not a witness to the blessing when watching a recording, you are a witness to documentation of a past blessing which is fundamentally a different event. There is a similar question/answer here, noting amen are not required for prerecorded brochos.

From my limited understanding “amen” could mean “let it be” or “so be it” or “may it be so” or essentially “please let it be as we have prayed”.

If the blessing was in the past, to add “let it be” maybe superfluous since that which is to be blessed could have transpired.

Additionally, in the context of a movie, one who says “amen” to a recording is attempting to invoke the power of God (the real God) to help in matters which were scripted by human writers. Should we not invoke God for more significant ends, such as to end the suffering of people?

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  • Exactly my point.
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 21:38
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    So you defined the difference between two situations. Now how do you know that you have to say amen to a blessing when it happens in front of you, but not when you are watching documentation of an event that already happened?
    – b a
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 22:25
  • Your answer implies that you don't answer Amen for past events, not because you are not actually in the presence of the person making the blessing. So, if you watch a live newscast or Skype someone and hear them make a bracha, you would have to answer Amen, correct?
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 0:50
  • Yes I believe so, if it was a purposeful blessing not in the context of blessing a scripted fiction.
    – Nephilim
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 1:03
  • "If the blessing was in the past, to add “let it be” maybe superfluous since that which is to be blessed could have transpired." - not valid in case of bircat hanehenin. "Additionally, in the context of a movie, one who says “amen” to a recording is attempting to invoke the power of God (the real God) to help in matters which were scripted by human writers. Should we not invoke God for more significant ends, such as to end the suffering of people?" - also does not apply to bircat hanehenin. Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 16:32
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No, because it is a movie and not reality, even if it is based on truth. The only exception to this rule would be a lecture by a real rabbi on tv.

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    This could be greatly improved by a source. Also, the OP specifically is discussing a case where “somebody blesses over something and usually it is a proper blessing,” so it not being reality is presumed false.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 19:44
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    However, If the actor blesses on a glass of water, and drinks it, even if the story by itself was fake, the blessing was a real obligation. Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 19:44
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    @TurkHill The Rema holds that you say Amen to the Berachos of idolaters if you hear the entire Beracha
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 20:23
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    I am starting to worry that I was not clear. The question was about saying Amen, and not about quitting my obligation with the bracha, as it would be obviously impossible even if Moshe himself was in the movie, as he was not thinking about freeing others form the obrigation. Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 20:30
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    @Ian No, you were perfectly clear. This answer is just wrong.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 20:39

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