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Chapter 79:3-4
The Recitation of Maftir

3. In the blessing recited before the Haftorah (1), "Amen" is not recited after the words "Hane'emorim Be'emes." It is recited only after the word "Votzedek" at the conclusion of the blessing, since the entire passage is a single blessing. Similarly, in the first of the blessings recited after the Haftorah, "Amen" is not recited after words "Emes Votzedek", because the continuation, "Ne'emon Attoh", is also associated with this blessing.

Since there are people who err and answer "Amen" in these places, it is proper that the Maftir proceed without pausing at all, so that all will know that this is not the conclusion of a blessing (2).

4. It is forbidden to talk while the Maftir is reciting the Haftorah.


(1) The practice of reading from the Prophets on Shabbos was introduced during the reign of the Syrian-Greek King, Antiochus, who ruled just prior to the Chanukah miracle (about 165 B.C.E.). He prohibited public readings from the Torah scroll, and thus the people resorted to reading from the Prophets on Shabbos, calling up seven people to read three verses each. Later, when the ban was lifted, the people retained their custom of having someone read from the Prophets every Shabbos. (Artscroll Siddur)

(2) The custom of many Sefardic communities is to pause after "Emes Vatzedek", whereupon the congregation responds "Ne'eman Ata."

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