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When Hearing Aids

A man tells his friend "I just got a really great new hearing aid!!". "Terrific, what kind is it?" "Oh, a quarter to eleven."

We all know that there is a concept called shomea kóneh. If one hears a bracha with the intention to fulfill ones obligation the listener does so and can rely on the bracha as if he had said it himself. [There is question as to the exact mechanics of shomea kóneh. Does it mean that the listener is considered as if he has SAID the bracha or that he is still considered a listener but he nevertheless fulfills his obligation as if he had said it. See a brilliant tour de force on this issue in the sefer Siach Hasadeh which was written by the author of the Eretz Tzvi, Rav Aryeh Tzvi Frommer ZTZ"L HY"D, Rosh Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin].

So let's say Binyamin listens to a Bracha from Baruch on a banana and then decides [Binyamin] that he doesn't want to eat a banana after all. Is it a bracha l'vatala for Binyamin. [Baruch ate the banana so don't worry about him].

According to the Sephardic tradition it would be a bracha l"vatala but according to the ashkenazik tradition it would not be a bracha l'vatala.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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