I was watching the blessings recited by clergy of various religions at the currently ongoing Republican National Convention to see if the blessings were made generally to G-d, or if the one giving the blessing would invoke powers antithetical to Judaism, such as the trinity.

Some were general, but there was (at least) one blessing that mentioned Jesus as a protector. Obviously, a Jew may not believe in or say amen to such a blessing. But may one answer amen to a blessing recited by one who believes the idea of Jesus as a power, but makes a general blessing to "god"?

Additionally, there was a blessing (from a Greek Orthodox priest) which made no mention of an additional power besides a god, but performed the Sign of the Cross as he was completing the blessing. Would this affect responding to his blessing?


1 Answer 1


I cannot tell you if this definitely applies, but the Shulchan Aruch (OC 215:2) seems to be clear that one should not recite Amen if there is reason to believe that the one making the blessing had in mind something other than the Jewish conception of God.

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    The Rama there says that you say amen after an idol worshiper, if you heard the full brachah
    – b a
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:41
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    Dov, there doesn't seem to be any indication from the SA since that is referring to not hearing the entire bracha. Also, @ba, that Rema seems to be talking about someone who worships an idol named, say, Shazam!, but make an appropriate blessing to G-d. In my case, he uses the word god implying the Almighty, but has a different idea of what that is. Although Mishna Berura SK10 there may deal with my case.
    – YDK
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:54
  • Dov, please incorporate how the Mishna Berura learns the SA (to come out like you), though we still need to hash out if the Gra would argue in my case as well.
    – YDK
    Aug 30, 2012 at 19:10
  • @ba the Rema refers to someone who made a bracha the same way we do, so it is reasonable to assume he's talking about the same God.
    – Dov F
    Aug 30, 2012 at 22:31
  • @YDK My point was not to say that the Shulchan Aruch says this, but that it is clearly implied. The reasoning there is that we aren't sure he was talking about our God.
    – Dov F
    Aug 30, 2012 at 22:33

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