Towards better Davening and Torah Reading
One mo' time!
This is not just a repeat or review of a topic or two that we've done in the past. This goes all the way back to two of the original topics that led to this column.
The first topic was introduced in a short-lived column called B.A.S.H. - Break Anti-halachic Shul Habits. We include it here because this Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh and the habit in question persists. It is the topic of AMEIN CHATUFA, a premature Amein, one that is said before the bracha upon which it is being said, is completed.
Simply put (but not simply followed), AMEIN is supposed to be said immediately after the bracha is completed. This means that if the chazan is stretching the ending of a bracha - as is common in the davening on Rosh Chodesh and Holidays, the congregation "waits him out" (no matter how long he stretches and no matter how inviting it is to begin AMEIN before he finishes) and says AMEIN only after the bracha is totally completed. Over the years, by the way, people have become more aware of the problem of Amein Chatufa and more and more people are actually waiting for the end of the bracha. Baalei T'fila are also cooperating more than in the past and they are clipping their drawn out endings so that even those in the Kahal that are tempted to jump the gun for AMEIN will find themselves saying it properly, after the bracha is done. Things are better, but the problem still persists. An Amein Chatufa is not only improper; it also prevents others from hearing the end of a bracha to be able to answer AMEIN properly.
The second issue - Hallel related - is the correct pronunciation of one of G-d's names: ALEF-LAMED-VAV-HEI, with a MAPIK in the HEI and a PATACH G'NUVA under the HEI. Just like an apple is ta-PU-ach and not ta-PU-cha, this name of G-d is eLO-ahh, not eloha. Not HA! but AHHH. eloha is a mispronunciation of HaShem's name.