A person who has completed a
journey or recovered from an illness etc. is required to recite birkas
hagomel. If he does not want people to know the reason for his reciting
the blessing, and cannot go to a congregation where people do not know him, he
may recite the blessing by himself. Nevertheless, he should try to say the
blessing in front of at least one other person.
When birkas hagomel is
recited without mentioning the name of G-d or his kingship, the congregation
is not required—but it is permitted—to answer amen.
A person does not recite birkas
hagomel until he recovers completely from his illness. The words of the
blessing, שגמלני כל טוב,
imply a goodness that is full and complete. Accordingly, if a person has a
stroke and lies unconscious, he does not recite birkas hagomel with
the name of G-d and reference to his kingship after regaining consciousness
if he is still partially paralyzed. A person who recovers from an illness,
but is left with internal problems, and a person who falls ill with a
dangerous illness and afterwards with another illness, and then recovers
from the first illness but not from the second does not mention the name of
G-d or His kingship when reciting birkas hagomel. But a person who,
while imprisoned, recovers from an illness, recites birkas hagomel even
though he is still imprisoned.
Any internal operation is
considered dangerous. A person who recovers from such an operation recites birkas
An adult who undergoes
circumcision recites birkas hagomel. But a gentile who converts and
is circumcised does not recite birkas hagomel after he immerses
himself in a mikveh because he was still a gentile during the time he was in
Regarding release from
prison: If a person was imprisoned for only a day or two, he does not recite birkas hagomel. If he was imprisoned because he is suspected of a
crime related to money or property, he recites birkas hagomel without
mentioning the name of G-d and His kingship because he would certainly not
be given a death sentence for such a crime. Nevertheless, if the prison
itself was dangerous because he was incarcerated with dangerous criminals,
he recites birkas hagomel when he is released. A person who could
have arranged release from prison by putting up money does not recite birkas
hagomel when he is released. A person who escapes from prison does not
recite birkas hagomel so long as the authorities may still catch up
A child who experiences a
miracle does not recite a blessing. Neither does his father make a blessing
for him, though some recite birkas hagomel without mentioning the
name of G-d and His kingship.
It is not customary for women
to recite a blessing when they experience a miracle.
It is best to recite birkas
hagomel within three days, but it may be recited at any time.