If someone is listening to another person praying out loud, and they respond, "amen," does Hashem consider the response to be a prayer in its own right?

  • You may have to narrow the focus of your question. By prayer do you mean "blessings"? E.g. - a blessing is required before eating food. If someone else makes a blessing on the same food, aloud, and you answer "Amen", it is as if you had made that blessing. I am not sure this principle applies to answering "Amen" to the blessings that part of the Chazzan's repetition of Shemoneh Esreh, even though that was the original intent of having the repetition. I'mnot sure if that rule still applies. It doesn't apply to certain other mitzvoth e.g. wearing tefillin.
    – DanF
    Sep 9, 2016 at 18:04
  • @DanF Thats true I did not think about the food part.But if someone is praying for a new car or healing or whatever,and you say amen.Did you just pray also?
    – Aigle
    Sep 9, 2016 at 18:10
  • 1
    Please edit / modify your question to reflect your last comment. As you can see, the answer, below, may not be answering your question.
    – DanF
    Sep 9, 2016 at 18:13
  • well the answer below was interesting,still maybe an edit would help,but I do think the question is clear
    – Aigle
    Sep 9, 2016 at 19:59
  • possible dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/19125/759
    – Double AA
    Sep 10, 2016 at 0:12

2 Answers 2


Hashem does consider it a prayer, and it is considered to be the same prayer recited by petitioner.

Whenever a person listens to the entire recitation of a blessing with the intention of fulfilling his obligation, he is considered to have fulfilled his obligation although he does not answer Amen. Whoever answers Amen to a blessing recited by another person is considered as if he recited the blessing himself, provided the person who recites the blessing is obligated to recite that blessing.

Rambam, M"T, Hil. Berakhoth 1:11

  • very interesting
    – Aigle
    Sep 9, 2016 at 19:58

An extension of what you refer to is the Shome'ah K'oneh (One who listens is considered as if he answered.) principle. This is mentioned in Bab. Talmud Succah 38b.

It is generally suggested that a person who answers Amen is considered as if he said the blessing. This principle is used in mitzvoth such as Megillah reading and listening to the shofar. (Note in particular regarding Shofar, that the shofar blower says in the blessing "To hear the sound of the shofar." This, obviously, includes himself.)

The Talmud page (see also Rash"i as well as Tosfot commentary, there) state that even if one merely listened but paid attention to the prayer / blessings, and did not respond is considered as if he prayed or said those items. The example they cite is if someone is in the middle of his silent amidah and he hears the shat"z saying kedusha. He cannot answer kedusha with them. Therefore, if he stopped his prayers, remained silent, listened and paid attention, it is considered as if he said kedusha, himself.

  • So if you are listening to a cd ,and someone is praying and you say Amen.You did pray?
    – Aigle
    Sep 9, 2016 at 20:52
  • @Aigle What are you asking me? Who implied anything about a CD? I am talking about "live" praying.
    – DanF
    Sep 9, 2016 at 20:54
  • no Im just asking,Hashem is outside of time.Why would that be a problem?
    – Aigle
    Sep 9, 2016 at 21:08
  • @ShamanSTK To me It seems like yes when I read your answer.But still strange.Then It's all about what you have faith in.
    – Aigle
    Sep 10, 2016 at 19:27
  • As I understand it, prayer is an active / participatory experience. Your listening to a CD of someone praying is comparable to listening to a recording of Yitzhak Perlman playing Mendelsohn's Violin Concerto. It does not have the same effect as when you hear him live.
    – DanF
    Sep 12, 2016 at 15:15

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