In the latter incident the pious Jew was sentenced to death because he did not answer amen to the blessing of the priest. Is one in fact required to answer amen to a non-Jew’s blessing? Perhaps we should be concerned that his intentions are contrary to our beliefs?
“One should answer amen to the bracha of a non-Jew if one hears the entire blessing” (Rema 215,2). If a non-Jew uses the wording of brachos composed by our Sages, we can assume that he had the proper intentions when reciting his blessing, and respond with amen to his words (Responsa Betzel Chachma 3,39). However, the authorities clarify that answering amen to a non-Jew’s blessing is optional and not obligatory (Mishna Berura 215,12. See also Kaf HaChaim 215,14).
Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org