There are several reasons why, lechatchila, a person should
stand while reciting Bircas HaGomel:
The blessing comes in place of the Todah sacrifice,
and when a person offers the sacrifice, he stands.
The recitation of this blessing is comparable to saying
Hallel, and Hallel is recited standing.
The blessing is said before a congregation and standing
is a gesture of respect for the congregation.
Bircas HaGomel is
recited before a congregation of at least ten men. The custom is to say it after
reading the Torah because the Torah reading is also done before a congregation.
(The Chasam Sofer explains that when a person is called up to the Torah, it is
as though he were offering a sacrifice—in this case, the Torah sacrifice.) If
a person whispers the blessing, so that other cannot hear him, it is as though
he said it alone. He should repeat the blessing so that the congregation can
hear him, but skip the name of G-d and His Kingship.
If a person has to recite Bircas HaGomel, he should be
called up to the Torah before others, but only if this does not conflict with
any other obligations, since, according to the halachah, a person can recite Bircas
HaGomel even if he is not called up to the Torah.
If a person has a multiple obligation to recite Bircas
HaGomel (i.e., he recovered from an illness and returned from a trip
overseas), he recites a single blessing. If there are several people who have to
say Bircas HaGomel, the can fulfill their obligation through the blessing
of one of them if he has the intention of reciting the blessing for all of them
and if they have the intention of fulfilling their obligation through his
If a person has experienced a miracle, he should make a
contribution to the public welfare. We learn this from Yaakov Avinu. The Gemara
(Shabbos 33b) mentions that after three opinions: that he minted a coin, set up
a market place, and built public baths.
According to the Shlah, if a miracle happens to a
person, he should recite the portion of the Torah which describes the Todah
(thanks) offering and, according to his means, allocate the value of one of the
animals mentioned to the support of Talmidei Chochomim. He should be careful to
avoid saying that the money is for the Todah offering. Rather, he should say,
“I am giving tzedakah. May it be it be Your (G-d’s) will that it be
considered as though I had offered the Todah sacrifice.
If a miracle happens to a person, it is fitting that on that
day, every year, he remember the miracle, tell others of the miracle, give
thanks and rejoice.
Rebbe Akiva Eger writes that if we acknowledge the goodness
which comes from G-d, thank Him and bless Him for it, G-d continues to bless us.
But if we deny the goodness that He gives us, then He will withhold that