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Changing your Mazel

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Just One Word
By: Esther Stern

The power of Amein Yehei Shemei Raba is strong enough to change a person's pre-ordained mazal. Chazal relate the following (Berachos,Rif 13b, Rosh3:19; cf.Shabbos 119b): ''When a person answers  Amein Yehei Shemei Raba, even a decree of seventy years is torn up.''

The Maharal(Nesivos Olam 1) explains that ''a decree of seventy years'' refers to the mazal that a person is born with, since seventy years symbolizes the human life-span. Just by properly saying Amein Yehei Shemei Raba one time, a person is able to change the mazal that he was born with; whether he will be rich or poor, clever or stupid, have a troubled life or one filled with serenity, or whether he will live many years or not.

In addition to this all, an Amein Yehei Shemei Raba is also able to nullify decree pronounced on a person during his lifetime because of his sins.


Every act makes a difference

Rav Simcha Zissel of Kelm takes this a step further. He teaches that every individual is so important that it would be worthwhile for G'd to create the whole world for 6000 years (see Sanhedrin 97a) to have just one Jew answering "Baruch Hu u'Varuch Shemo" once in his lifetime.

Every "Amen", says Rab Simcha Zissel, is worth a thousands folds more. One "Yehei Shmei Rabba …" is like a thousand times answering "Amen". One word of Torah study is worth a thousands fold more than that.

This adds a new dimension to the statement "The world was created for me." Each of us has a tremendous power and therefore carry a huge responsibility throughout our life on earth. Every word we utter, and every act we perform, makes a difference. As the Talmud (Kiddushin 40b) teaches that a person should live with a constant awareness that every act one does may tip the scale and make a difference for the entire world.

(Shabbos 119b) The Gemara says one who answers Amen Yehei Shmay Rabbah with all his strength annuls bad decrees and gets Mechilah for his sins.

According to the second opinion in Tosefos "all his strength" means saying it loudly. According to Rasi and the first opinion in Tosefos it means saying it with as much Kavanah as possible (which is more important than simply screaming the words)

The following sources are published by the Chofetz Chaim

Heritage Foundation:

“With a small amount of effort,

WE can open up a world of mercy.

The Gemara says that answering “Amen, Yehei Shemei Rabba , ,

.” with all your might and intending the merits to go to the

sick person has the power to TEAR up the sentence passed

against a person.  The reason is that, “Amen, Yehei Shemi

Rabba . . .” works beyond the confines of nature and can

bring healing even when nature seems to afford no hope.

The Zohar (Terumah) teaches that “Amen Yehei Shmei Rabbah” 

has enormous spiritual power, far beyond that of any other

acknowledgment of G-d’s holiness.  Recited with proper

concentration and vigor, it can destroy evil forces that

result from man’s misdeeds and that prevents G-d’s splendor

from being revealed to His children.  It was composed in

Aramaic, a language that lacks the holiness of Hebrew and is

therefore utilized by the forces of evil.  By exalting G-d

in Aramaic, we bring holiness to the dark corners of the

earth where it could not otherwise penetrate.

When a Jews says “Amen, Yehei Shmei Rabba with sincere

kavannah, G-d’s Name is sanctified beyond imagination.  We

cannot even dream of the good this one verse of praise can


Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Whoever responds “Amen, Yehei

Shemei Rabba . . .” with all his might, has any evil decree

against him torn up.  (Shabbos 119b) 

At a time when Israel responds in a loud voice, “Amen, May

His Great Name be blessed (forever and ever) . . .” the Holy

One, Blessed is He, becomes filled with compassion, and He

has mercy upon all.  (Zohar, Parashas Noach).

The primary intent should be that His Name should be whole

and His throne should be whole, that The Holy One, Blessed

is He, should eradicate the memory of Amalek, and that His

name should be sanctified in all the worlds forever and



. . . It is the duty of each one of us to attend the Beis


daily, to daven Shacharis, Minchah and Maariv there with our

children, and to respond, “Amen, Yehei Shmei Rabba. . . “

for, as the Midrash states, in this way countless harsh

decrees are annulled each day.  It is impossible to fathom

the number of salvations that could be brought about for

Klal Yisrael if the inhabitants of each city were indeed to

assemble in the Beis HaKnesses, and daven together, and

respond “Amen, Yehei Shmei Rabba . . .” in unison every

day.  In this way, thousands of people could be saved from

death . . .

(Michtavei Chofetz Chaim, pp. 167, 169).

How does this declaration cause evil decrees to be torn up?

The word baruch is related to the word breichah (spring) and

represents an increase and expansion (see Sefer Nefesh

Hachaim).  When we say, “Yehei Shmei Rabba Mevaracah”, we

express the hope that the glory of G-d’s Name be enhanced

and expanded l’olam - in this world; u’lolmei olmaya - and

in the upper spiritual realms as well.