Deep Kabbalistic Secrets About The Amen Response – Drawing Peace At Every Level

All Hebrew words, including the Amen, have the power to reverberate through Creation

As Hashem created the spiritual worlds, so too we who are endowed with the divine image also retain a measure of this power. Many are already aware that real unity, peace, and bliss is the ultimate goal of Creation. The beauty of this concept lies in the fact that with every part of Avodat Hashem, we are bringing the Olam HaBah (World To Come) closer and closer.

The Olam HaBah will essentially be a unity of all spiritual worlds accompanied by a massive revelation and downpour of Light that will make all evil disappear and we will enter the Great Shabbat of the 6th Millennium. The sages explain that this is the “world that is always coming”, which lends credence to the idea that with every step in Avodat Hashem, we are creating the conditions for it to come, at every level.

As readers probably know by this point, the Rashash (Rabbi Shalom Sharabi) explains that every part of Avodat Hashem has the 4 spiritual worlds + 10 Sephirot array. Consider how massive this is for a while. Every single thing we are doing, we are conceptually uniting Ze’ir Anpin and the Shekhinah, and all the other Sephirot.

Even in something as seemingly small as the Amen response or giving Tzedaka.

This is arguably one of the most underestimated parts of prayer. We say it so often during Tefila (prayer) that we sometimes just put our minds in automatic mode and miss many of them. Yet, as many readers may Beyond its audible simplicity, the “Amen” response resonates with wondrous Kabbalistic significance in the spiritual worlds.

In this exploration, we will delve into its hidden dimensions, but first let’s explore a little bit the current situation.

hivartei quaint and peaceful picture of animals by a river. 8k 3d456627 b2c2 493c 9b74 fd9b0ceeeb1b

The situation nowadays about the Amen response

Nearly everyone, at some point, has been touched by the heavy hand of tragedy, either through personal afflictions or the trials of their property, family, or loved ones. These individual ordeals stand alongside the collective tribulations of the Jewish people, who have faced relentless persecution from those who hold disdain for all that we hold sacred. These adversaries relentlessly endeavor to obliterate us, were it not for the boundless mercies of Hashem that continually come to our rescue.

Actually, before every calamity comes (lo aleinu), it has to first pass through a series of “filters of compassion” to materialize. The Zohar explains one doesn’t even get 1% of what is his due in this world.

One of the most sadly neglected observances in our generation, is the answering of Amen and Yehey Sh’mey Rabba the neglect of which is responsible for the lengthening of our exile and other calamities, G-d forbid.

The profound act of these 2 responses emerges as a powerful safeguard for Jewry. This response not only has the potential to ward off severe decrees but also serves as a shield against individual punishment in Gehinnom, guiding the respondent toward the promised life in the Olam HaBah.

The Poskim and Ba’alei Mussar already taught us that, it is incumbent upon every discerning individual to grasp that neglecting to utter “Amen” and “Yehey sh’mey rabba” (from the Kadish) due to trivial conversations or other frivolous reasons amounts to an unspeakable cruelty—both to oneself, one’s family, and the wider Jewish community.

This truth finds resonance in the Gemara Shabbat (119), which affirms that the vocalized response of “Amen” and “Yehey sh’mey rabba” has the transformative power to nullify all harsh decrees when proclaimed aloud by the Jewish people. Further reinforcement is found in the Zohar (Vayelech, p. 285b), which emphasizes the paramount importance of responding with “Amen,” asserting that doing so opens all the gates of Heaven for the respondent. In times of trouble, the Holy One, Blessed be He, regards those who conscientiously respond with “Amen,” offering them protection from afflictions and calamities.

The Zohar (ibid.) expands on this, teaching that those who respond with “Amen” open the gates of blessings in Heaven, ushering in joy and goodness across all realms. Instead of embarking on quests to alleviate troubles, calamities, and illnesses through various means, one would fare much better by wholeheartedly observing the mitzvah of responding to “Amen” and “Yehey sh’mey rabba.”

By doing so, prosperity in all undertakings becomes attainable. The Sefer Hagan goes even further, attributing the delay of the final redemption to the neglect of the “Amen” response—an assertion that underscores the profound spiritual significance of this seemingly simple yet potent act.

Amen response prevents calamities

The simple meaning and Halacha

Uttering “Amen” must be done with the proper vocalization of the aleph, using a kamatz rather than a chataf. It’s equally imperative to ensure that the final nun is pronounced when responding with “Amen.” Moreover, responding with an “orphaned” Amen—without a clear understanding of the blessing being acknowledged—is strongly discouraged.

Answering with an orphaned Amen is believed to have repercussions, potentially resulting in one’s own children experiencing a similar fate (chas v’shalom!). Responding with “Amen” accompanied by a chataf is considered ominous, as it may bring about an abrupt end to one’s life. Similarly, replying without enunciating the final nun in Amen is said to be associated with a premature curtailment of one’s days, Hashem Yerachem.

In contrast, extending the pronunciation of the word “Amen” is believed to have a positive effect, leading to the extension of one’s days and years. This sentiment is echoed in the teachings of Berachos 47a. Not only that, but the act of answering “Amen” holds greater merit than reciting the actual blessing, as discussed in Berachos 53b. The profound impact of wholeheartedly responding with “Amen” is emphasized by the notion that such an act can open the Gates of Heaven for the individual, as outlined in Shabbat 119b.

The Jewish tradition places immense value on the utterance of “Amen.” It is believed that nothing holds greater importance to the Divine than the “Amen” responses from the Jewish community, as reflected in Devarim Rabbah 7. In the spiritual context, a child who says “Amen” is considered to have taken a step towards meriting a place in the World to Come, as mentioned in Sanhedrin 110b.

Moreover, the continuity of responding with “Amen” holds significance both in this world and the Olam HaBah. Answering “Amen” in this world is seen as a pathway to continue this practice in the future world, underscoring the enduring value of this simple yet profound act (Devarim Rabbah 7).

Even individuals lacking deep knowledge of scripture, Mishnah, or Torah interpretation, can find merit in participating in synagogues and batei midrashim by answering “Amen.” This act, even if it offers nothing more than the reward of “Amen,” is considered incredibly powerful (Agadat Bereishis 79).

The Kabbalah of Amen

The Zohar highlights the idea that the letters of “Amen” (Aleph, Mem, Nun) serve as an acronym for אל מלך נאמן (El Melech Ne’eman), meaning “God, the Faithful King.” Saying “Amen” with this awareness is seen as an affirmation of the divine faithfulness and kingship.

It’s also written there that the word “Amen” contains the numerical value of 91, equivalent to the numerical value of the divine name אדני (Adonai). This numerical connection is seen as reinforcing the divine presence within the response.

According to Kabbalistic teachings, saying “Amen” serves as a conduit for elevating the efficacy of prayers. The “Amen” response is said to seal and elevate the prayer, acting as a bridge between the material and spiritual dimensions. The Arizal emphasizes the importance of saying “Amen” after one’s personal prayers, as it is seen as inviting heavenly blessings into one’s life.

This is the Kavanah for Amen. There’s a form for the Kadish and a form for all other blessings:

Screen Shot 2023 12 27 at 12.04.15

Other insights

In the great sea of Kabbalistic teachings, the “Amen” response emerges not only as a verbal affirmation but as a “mystical key” to unlocking higher consciousness. It is a powerful utterance that, when imbued with intention and awareness, becomes a conduit for divine blessings, harmony, and downpour of light to the spiritual worlds (which, flows down to us).

Here are a few other insights:

  1. A notable account from the Zohar Il 166 a tells of Rav Safra’s son who, driven by an intense yearning to hear Kadish, leaped from the rooftop. This act foreshadowed his future greatness, eventually becoming known to all.
  2. Kadish is a form of praise that elevates the Holy One, Blessed be He, in a manner unparalleled by any other. What sets it apart? Its remarkable ability to humble even the most persistent forces of negativity and elevate the divine glory over all else, as found in the Zohar II 129b and III 129b.
  3. Even an individual deeply engrossed in the contemplation of the Ma’ase Merkavah (the sacred chariot) should pause to respond with heartfelt “Amen, and Yehey sh’mey rabba,” as emphasized in Berachos 21b (this should be shocking).
  4. The assurance of entering the Olam HaBah is granted to the one who utters “Amen and Yehe sh’mey rabba m’vorach” in a dream, as stated in Berachos 57a.
  5. The world’s foundation rests upon the merit of proclaiming the kedusha in Uva L’Tzion and responding with “Yehey sh’may rabba” after studying aggadah, as taught in Sotah 49a.
  6. In the presence of an elder expounding wisdom, and with disciples responding in unison, “Amen, May His great Name be blessed,” even the weight of a century’s worth of decrees against an individual is forgiven by the benevolence of the Holy One, Blessed be He, as portrayed in Koheles Rabba 9:20. In Midrash Shocher Tov (Mishlei 10), the reading transforms: “Even if their verdict was sealed, I pardon and absolve their transgressions.”
  7. Angel Sandal-phon adorns crowns upon the Hashem through the recital of Kedusha, Borchu, and the responsive “Amen, and Yehey sh’may rabba” uttered by the children of Israel. From this, Sages expounded that neglecting to respond in this manner diminishes the celestial crown and invites the risk of excommunication, as conveyed in Midrash Konen.
  8. An account from the Zohar Chadash Lev. 49a recounts the profound impact of Kadish. When a son publicly recited the haftarah, the burden of judgment was lightened, but it was the recitation of Kadish that completely dissolved the looming verdict.
  9. The Zohar Chadash, Lev. Raya M’heimna p. 20, asserts that responding with heartfelt “Amen, and Yehay sh’mey rabba” with utmost sincerity can even bring forgiveness to one tainted with the blemish of idolatry.
  10. It is recognized in Sefer Chareidim, Commandment of Repentance, ch. 7, that the response “Amen, and Yehay sh’may rabba” possesses the power to absolve all of one’s sins.
  11. Sefer Mora Mikdash, 20, cautions against engaging in casual conversation during prayers and Kadish. Those who disregard this reverence not only incur their rightful punishments but potentially intensify them. When their offspring recite Kadish on their behalf, their actions are reevaluated, and judgment is revisited (Kedushat Amen, ch. 7).

May we merit all the blessings of the Amen response.

Get "The "Illustrated Book of Kabbalah" for FREE!

Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

You may also like:

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »

Get Real Torah in your mailbox

Subscribe to the Newsletter!

Receive powerful authentic Kabbalistic ideas in your mailbox!

We won’t spam your e-mail or sell your information with any party.