Kaddish via the telephone

If one wants to do nichum aveilim (visiting the mourners) during the shiva but for whatever reason is unable to get to the shiva house themselves, one may phone and speak to the mourners. What do you do if when you phone they are in a part of the prayers that one should respond, for example kaddish, kedusha or barachu.

One may answer amen or whatever is required to be answered if you know that you are hearing it directly from the person saying the kaddish or bracha.

This ruling also applies if one is watching or listening to a direct broadcast from the television, radio or internet. Two other occasions that I have seen this carried out are at weddings or funerals where persons abroad have been unable to get to the event but want to hear so via cellphones have “listened in” and answered accordingly.

These days it has become very common to “attend” torah lessons (shiurim) over the web, again if someone hears a bracha etc he may say amen.

In all of these cases one cannot make up a minyan as there has to be ten adult males above barmitzvah in the place where the event is taking place for one to say the relevent blessing.


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