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Humming During Birkat Kohanim

Humming During Birkat Kohanim

Question:
Shalom Ha’Rav,

I would like to understand why the humming of the kohanim during birkat kohanim is not considered an interruption of the blessing. I understand the purpose is to allow the congregation to say the prayer regarding dreams but the humming usually goes on much longer than the actual blessing. If it is an interruption should I still answer amen at the conclusion of the blessing.

Answer:

The humming actually may be done to prevent interruption. Ideally, the kohanim should not be interrupting for a duration longer than the blessing. The humming may be considered as part of the blessing and hence it is not considered as if they have paused the blessing. This rationale is also used to explain how the kohanim make a pause between the calling of the shaliach tzibbur and the bracha, another non ideal practice.

In any event even a long pause does not invalidate the blessing as long as the break was not done out of necessity [i.e. they could have theoretically not made the pause], as such you should certainly answer Amen as the blessing is valid.

Sources:

See end of Biur Halacha Siman 65:1 s”v karaah, Biur Halacha 128:45 s”v ubeshaah.

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