You've washed your hands and made a brocha 'al netilat yadayim' and are now waiting for the baal habayit to say hamotzi. If you then hear someone else washing their hands and making the bracha (a common occurrence) should you answer amen to that bracha, or is it considered an interruption?

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  • 1
    More interesting: can you say Amen to someone else's Al Netillat Yadayim before you say your own?
    – Double AA
    Mar 31, 2014 at 16:29
  • @doubleaa Before or after you've washed? before why not. after that should be a Hefsek. no?
    – user3113
    Mar 31, 2014 at 18:49
  • 1
    @BackseatChazan Obviously after you've washed (assuming you are washing before you say a bracha). Perhaps since it's exactly the same bracha you need to say, it's considered sufficiently on topic.
    – Double AA
    Mar 31, 2014 at 18:52
  • @DoubleAA was that facetious or is there really a minhag/shita that has you make the beracha before washing? Mar 31, 2014 at 18:54
  • @YEZ There certainly is! The Rambam rules that way as does R Yosef Karo.
    – Double AA
    Mar 31, 2014 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


In the Shulchan Aruch Harav it says two or three words (that have nothing to do with the meal) are not considered a Hefsek:

ומכל מקום אין צריך ליזהר אלא מלדבר באיזה עסק וענין אחר אבל שיחה בעלמא ב' או ג' תיבות אינן חשובין הפסק לדברי הכל אפילו במים אחרונים (כיון שאין בהם ענין שלם) וכל שכן שמותר להשיב הן או לאו כששואלין אותו דבר.‏


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