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|Halacha - me'ah brachot|
|Submitted by Steven Oppenheimer, DMD Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh|
Thank you for your educated question and for pointing out numerous sources. Halichos Shlomo in footnote 43 makes it clear that hearing is only a possibility if you are fulfilling your obligation, not just listening to someone else make their own personal beracha. Even this, the Tur and Bach hold only applies to a beracha that is specifically instituted for a public gathering and does not include Birchos HaShachar. See also Mishna Berura 46:14 where it is clear he only relies on listening under circumstances where there is no other way of reaching the total of 100. The Pri Megadim is also only referring to the shaas hadchak of a fast day where we lose out on the berachos of eating and it is difficult to reach the total. Therefore it still seems to me that even without the issue of hearing over the telephone, there is little benefit regarding mea berachos in instituting the practice of listening to others make a beracha on the food they eat, which is even worse than Birchos HaShachar. However, there may be other considerations to continue the practice since it encourages the women to say the berachos out loud and pronounce them clearly. Also, since women usually do not daven three times a day they have no other method of accomplishing the 100. In any event I see no harm in the practice, and it is certainly commendable that they want to use the telephone, which can often be a tool for lashon hara etc to do mitzvos.