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I have heard that it is a greater merit to respond to Amen Yehei Shmei Rabba than to respond to Kedushah. Can someone please clarify this and provide sources?

  • I don't think Gemarra brachot mentions a comparison, but it does mention tremendous importance regarding the Kaddish response. It's possible that kedusha (I assume you mean the one is the Amida) is a much later addition. Have to check that. Can you edit both where you think you heard this and what type of "merit" is meant? – DanF Jan 25 '17 at 17:06
  • Since I don't know the sources, I will just put a comment: On one side, "i. Magen Avraham (1): Be'er Sheva (31) says that the Gemara asked whether one may interrupt (Shemoneh Esre) to say Yehei Shmei Raba, but it did not ask about interrupting for Modim or Kedushah, for surely one does not interrupt for them. This shows that Amen Yehei Shmei Raba is greater than Kedushah and Modim." on the other " Kaf ha'Chayim (6): One does not interrupt Kedushah to answer Amen Yehei Shmei Raba." dafyomi.co.il/shabbos/halachah/sh-hl-119.htm – rosends Jan 25 '17 at 17:16
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A good article with many sources can be found (in Hebrew) here.

In a nutshell, he quotes the Mishna Berura in 56:6 that answering Kaddish takes precedence over answering Kedusha.

ובמשנה ברורה סי’ נ”ו סק”ו מובא שיש להקדים עניית קדיש על פני עניית קדושה

This is based on Medrash and Gemara - where it's implied that answering Yehei Shmei is powerful, whereas no such powers are given to Kedusha.

Further research shows that the באר היטב in סימן נו - דין ענית הקדיש already says the same thing; answering Amein, Yehei Shmei takes precedence over Kedusha.

However, if one started answering Kedusha, then one doesn't interrupt it to answer Kaddish.:

ג) קדיש. איש''ר עדיף טפי מקדושח ומודים ע''כ אם שמע קדיש וקדושח או מודים וא''א לו לענות שניהם יענה איש''ר. באר שבע וכ''כ בתשובת שי למורא סימן ט' וכתב המ''א נ''ל דאם יש שתי בתי כנסיות לפניו בעיר באחד מגיעים לקדושח ובאחד לקדיש שאחר י''ח ילך ויענה קדושה כי שם ישמע גם כן קדיש אתר חתפלח עיין סי' ק''ט. ואם חתחיל לענות קדושה לא יפסיק בו לענות איש''ר. פרי חדש סי' קכ''ח‏

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