CHAPTER 13 [Blessings Over Miracles and as Thanksgiving] (1–17)

פרק יג [בִּרְכַּת נִסִּים וְהוֹדָאָה, וּבוֹ י"ז הֲלָכוֹת]

1 When an individual sees the place where a miracle was performed on his behalf — for example, he was saved from a wall which fell on him or from a wild animal or robbers — after thirty days [of the event.], he is obligated to recite the blessing, “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe, Who performed a miracle for me in this place.” This rule applies] even when there is no [specific feature or landmark] associating the miracle with that place.

Immediately after the miracle [occurred, however], as soon as he finds himself in an assemblage of ten [men], he must recite the blessing HaGomel, as will be explained.1 If he returns and sees the place [where the miracle occurred] thirty days after he first saw it, he should recite the blessing: “…Who performed a miracle…” again and, [indeed, continue doing so] forever, [whenever he returns to that place after a similar interval].

When many miracles were performed for a person in many places, he must recite this blessing when he sees any one of these places. [In this instance,] he must mention all the other places and include them in the blessing, saying: “…Who performed a miracle for me in this place, in this-and-this place and in this-and-this place.”

When any of the descendants of a person for whom a miracle was performed in a particular place [see that place], they are obligated to recite the blessing, “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who performed a miracle for our father in this place.” [“Descendants” in this context refers to] the person’s children and their descendants for all time. [They are obligated to recite the blessing] because they are all are partners in [i.e., beneficiaries of] that miracle. [This rule applies only when] there is an association between the miracle and the place, for example, a wall [whose remnants still exist] fell on the person.

However, the person’s descendants need not mention the other places [where miracles were performed for their ancestor when reciting this blessing]. Even children who the person fathered before [this miracle took place] and who are thus not partners in this miracle, are obligated to recite the blessing in acknowledgement of the miracle [performed for] their father.

א א ב ג יָחִיד שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לוֹ נֵס בְּאֵיזֶה מָקוֹם,ד כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּפַל עָלָיו כֹּתֶלה וְנִצּוֹל, אוֹ חַיָּה רָעָהו אוֹ לִסְטִיםז – חַיָּב הוּא עַצְמוֹח – כְּשֶׁיִּרְאֶה אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹםט – לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה לִי נֵס בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה". וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם אֵין הַנֵּס יָדוּעַ עַל פִּי הַמָּקוֹם.י

וְאַחַר הַנֵּס מִיָּד כְּשֶׁיִּזְדַּמְּנוּ לוֹ עֲשָׂרָה – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ "הַגּוֹמֵל", כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.יא

וְאִם חוֹזֵר וְרוֹאֶה מָקוֹם זֶה לְאַחַר ל' יוֹם מֵרְאִיָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה – חוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ.יב וְכֵן לְעוֹלָם.

מִי שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ לוֹ נִסִּים הַרְבֵּה בִּמְקוֹמוֹת הַרְבֵּה, כְּשֶׁרוֹאֶה כָּל אֶחָד מֵהַמְּקוֹמוֹת – צָרִיךְ לְהַזְכִּיר שְׁאָר כָּל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת וְכוֹלְלָם בִּבְרָכָה אַחַת, וְאוֹמֵר "שֶׁעָשָׂה לִי נֵס בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וּבְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי וּבְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי".יג

וְכָל יוֹצְאֵי יְרֵכוֹ שֶׁל אוֹתוֹ אָדָם שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לוֹ נֵס בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם,יד אִם הַנֵּס יָדוּעַ עַל פִּי הַמָּקוֹם,טו כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּפַל עָלָיו כֹּתֶל – חַיָּבִים הֵם וּבְנֵיהֶם עַד סוֹף כָּל הַדּוֹרוֹת לְבָרֵךְ כְּשֶׁרוֹאִים הַמָּקוֹם "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נֵס לְאָבִינוּ בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה", שֶׁכֻּלָּם שֻׁתָּפִים בְּאוֹתוֹ הַנֵּס.טז אֲבָל אֵין צְרִיכִים לְהַזְכִּיר שְׁאָר הַמְּקוֹמוֹת.יז וַאֲפִלּוּ הַבָּנִים שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ קֹדֶם לָכֵן שֶׁאֵינָם שֻׁתָּפִים בְּנֵס זֶה – חַיָּבִים לְבָרֵךְ עַל נֵס אֲבִיהֶם.יח

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2 Four [categories of people] are obligated to give thanks and recite the blessing HaGomel (following the wording stated in the siddur): a) those who set out on a journey across the sea, when they [reach land]; b) those who travelled through a desert, when they reach a settlement; c) one who was sick and recovered; and d) one who was imprisoned for a matter that could have involved capital punishment and was released, or [one who was imprisoned] because of monetary matters if he was shackled in iron chains.

It is necessary to recite this blessing in the presence of ten [men], two of whom are Torah scholars. [Nevertheless,] if Torah scholars cannot be found in that place, one should not refrain from reciting the blessing. The person reciting the blessing is included in the quorum of ten.

It has become customary to recite the blessing in the synagogue after reading from the Torah, since ten men are present there. If one recited the blessing in the presence of less than ten [men], there are authorities who rule that one has fulfilled his obligation. Nevertheless, it is desirable to recite the blessing again in the presence of ten [men], without mentioning G‑d’s name and His Sovereignty.

ב אַרְבָּעָה צְרִיכִים לְהוֹדוֹתיט וּלְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת "הַגּוֹמֵל" (כַּנֻּסָּח שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּסִּדּוּרכ): יוֹרְדֵי הַיָּםכא כְּשֶׁיַּעֲלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ,כב וְהוֹלְכֵי מִדְבָּרוֹתכג כְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לְיִשּׁוּב, וּמִי שֶׁהָיָה חוֹלֶה וְנִתְרַפֵּא,כד וּמִי שֶׁהָיָה חָבוּשׁ בְּבֵית הָאֲסוּרִיםכה עַל יְדֵי עִסְקֵי נְפָשׁוֹתכו וְיָצָא, אוֹ עַל עִסְקֵי מָמוֹןכז אִם הָיָה מְעֻנֶּה בְּכַבְלֵי בַּרְזֶל.כח

וְצָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה זוֹ בִּפְנֵי עֲשָׂרָה,כט וּשְׁנַיִם מֵהֶם תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים.ל וְאִם אֵין מְצוּיִּין שָׁם תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים – לֹא יָנִיחַ מִלְּבָרֵךְ.לא וְהַמְבָרֵךְ עוֹלֶה לְמִנְיַן הָעֲשָׂרָה.לב וְנָהֲגוּ לְבָרֵךְ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אַחַר קְרִיאַת הַתּוֹרָה,לג לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם עֲשָׂרָה.לד וְאִם בֵּרַךְ בְּפָחוֹת מֵעֲשָׂרָה – יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםלה שֶׁיָּצָא. וְטוֹב לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָרֵךְ בַּעֲשָׂרָה בְּלֹא שֵׁם וּמַלְכוּת.לו

3 A minor is not required to acknowledge [G‑d’s kindness by reciting the blessing HaGomel. This rule applies] even if he has reached the age when he is to be trained to perform mitzvos. Women and bondmen are obligated to recite this blessing. Accordingly, upon her recovery, every woman who gives birth should recite this blessing in the women’s gallery of the synagogue [so that] ten men will hear it from within.2

ג קָטָן אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהוֹדוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ הִגִּיעַ לְחִנּוּךְ מִצְוָה.לז אֲבָל נָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים חַיָּבִים בִּבְרָכָה זוֹ,לח וְלָכֵן כָּל אִשָּׁה יוֹלֶדֶת כְּשֶׁתָּקוּם מֵחָלְיָהּלט – תְּבָרֵךְ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת שֶׁל נָשִׁים, וְיִשְׁמְעוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִבִּפְנִים.מ

4 When a person’s heart rejoices upon hearing that his friend has been saved, he is permitted to recite the blessing [HaGomel] in this form or in another form, for example: B’rich Rachmana E-lohana Malkah d’alma d’yahavach lan velo yahavach l’afra, [“Blessed is the Merciful One, G‑d, King of the universe, Who has given you [back] to us and not given you to the dust”]. This statement need not be recited in the presence of ten [men].

If the feelings of joy in one’s heart [do not motivate him] to give praise and thanks in happiness (i.e. [he recites the blessing only because] he knows that this blessing has already been prescribed and established), the blessing has been recited in vain. If, however, he must recite the blessing in front of the other person to preserve peace [between them], he should recite it without mentioning G‑d’s name and His Sovereignty. [In such circumstances,] the statement should not be made even when merely mentioning G‑d’s name [in another language,] for example, by saying merely B’rich Rachmana, because the prohibition against reciting a blessing in vain is involved. [For the prohibition against] mentioning G‑d’s name in vain applies whether one mentions it in Hebrew or in any other language. Hence, one should caution those who frequently say in Yiddish, [geloibt iz G-tt,] “Blessed is G‑d,” even over an event that does not bring his heart rejoicing.

ד מִי שֶׁשָּׂמֵחַ בְּלִבּוֹ עַל הַצָּלַת חֲבֵרוֹ – רַשַּׁאי לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה זוֹמא בְּמַטְבֵּעַ זוֹ,מב אוֹ בְּמַטְבֵּעַ אַחֶרֶת, כְּגוֹן "בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָאמג אֱלָהָנָאמד מַלְכָּא דְּעָלְמָא,מה דְּיַהֲבָךְ לָן וְלֹא יַהֲבָךְ לְעַפְרָא". וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בִּפְנֵי עֲשָׂרָה.מו

אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ שָׂמֵחַ בְּלִבּוֹ לִתֵּן שֶׁבַח וְהוֹדָאָה מֵחֲמַת שִׂמְחָתוֹ (אֶלָּא מֵחֲמַת שֶׁהַבְּרָכָה כְּתוּבָה וּקְבָעוּהָ כְּבָר וְהוּא יוֹדְעָהּ) – הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּרָכָה לְבַטָּלָה.מז וְאִם צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בְּפָנָיו מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם – יְבָרֵךְ בְּלֹא שֵׁם וּמַלְכוּת.מח וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשֵׁם לְבַד, כְּגוֹן "בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָא"מט – לֹא יֹאמַר,נ שֶׁהֲרֵי אִסּוּר בְּרָכָה לְבַטָּלָה הוּא מִשּׁוּם הַזְכָּרַת שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם לְבַטָּלָה,נא בֵּין שֶׁמַּזְכִּיר בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר לְשׁוֹנוֹת.נב וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ לְהַזְהִיר לְאוֹתָם שֶׁרָגִיל עַל לְשׁוֹנָם לוֹמַר "בָּרוּךְ ה'" בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַזנג אַף עַל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ שִׂמְחַת הַלֵּב.נד

5 The blessing [HaGomel] should not be recited until one emerges from danger entirely. Hence, a sick person should not recite the blessing before he recovers completely.

If one delays reciting the blessing [beyond the earliest permissible time], he may compensate [by reciting it] whenever he wishes. It is, however, appropriate not to delay more than three days. Thus, if one emerged from danger on Monday, after the reading of the Torah, he should recite the blessing in the presence of ten [men], without a Torah scroll, instead of waiting until Thursday [when the Torah would once again be read in the synagogue].

ה אֵין לְבָרֵךְ עַד שֶׁיָּצָא מֵהַסַּכָּנָה לְגַמְרֵי, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יְבָרֵךְ הַחוֹלֶה עַד שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר לְבֻרְיוֹ לְגַמְרֵי.נה

וְאִם אֵחַר מִלְּבָרֵךְ – יֵשׁ לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמִין כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה.נו וְנָכוֹן שֶׁלֹּא לְאַחֵר ג' יָמִים,נז לְפִיכָךְ אִם יָצָא מִן הַסַּכָּנָה בְּיוֹם ב' אַחַר קְרִיאַת הַתּוֹרָה – יְבָרֵךְ בִּפְנֵי עֲשָׂרָה בְּלֹא סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, וְלֹא יַמְתִּין עַד יוֹם ה'.נח

6 Some authorities maintain that a person should only recite the blessing [HaGomel] upon recovering from illness that [is considered] a dangerous sickness, such as an internal injury or the like, i.e., an illness for which one may desecrate the Shabbos [in order to care for the patient]. In practice, the rule that should be followed is that anyone who was confined to bed for more than three days [because of the illness] should recite the blessing when he gets up.

ו יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםנט שֶׁאֵין הַחוֹלֶה מְבָרֵךְ אֶלָּא עַל חֹלִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה, כְּגוֹן מַכָּה שֶׁל חָלָלס וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מֵחֳלָיִים שֶׁמְּחַלְּלִים עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וּלְמַעֲשֶׂה יֵשׁ לִנְהֹג, שֶׁכָּל שֶׁמֻּטָּל עַל מִטָּתוֹ יוֹתֵר מִג' יָמִיםסא – יֵשׁ לוֹ לְבָרֵךְ בְּעָמְדוֹ.סב

7 Some authorities maintain that one should recite the blessing HaGomel only in the four cases which the Rabbis enumerated. Other authorities [differ and] maintain that the same law applies to anyone who was saved from danger, for example, a wall fell on him; he was saved after being trampled by an ox (or horse) or [saved] from the goring [of an ox]; or a lion was about to attack him within a populated area; or thieves or burglars came upon him and he was saved. In all [such] cases — i.e., whenever there was some concern of danger to life — a person is obligated to recite the blessing HaGomel. The custom is [to follow this approach].

ז יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםסג שֶׁאֵין מְבָרְכִין "הַגּוֹמֵל" אֶלָּא עַל אַרְבָּעָה שֶׁמָּנוּ חֲכָמִים בִּלְבַד. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםסד שֶׁהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל מִי שֶׁהָיָה בְּסַכָּנָה וְנִצּוֹל, כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּפַל עָלָיו כֹּתֶל, אוֹ שֶׁנִּצּוֹל מִדְּרִיסוֹת שׁוֹר וְסוּס וּנְגִיחוֹתָיו,סה אוֹ שֶׁעָמַד עָלָיו אַרְיֵה לְטָרְפוֹ בַּיִּשּׁוּב,סו אוֹ אִם גַּנָּבִים בָּאוּ לוֹסז אוֹ שׁוֹדְדֵי לַיְלָהסח וְנִצּוֹל – כֻּלָּם חַיָּבִים לְבָרֵךְ "הַגּוֹמֵל", כָּל שֶׁהָיָה חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת.סט וְכֵן נָהֲגוּ.ע

8 One who sees [great] Torah scholars must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who has apportioned from His wisdom to those who fear Him.”

[One who sees] scholars [learned in] secular wisdom must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who has given from His wisdom to flesh and blood.” If [one sees non-Jews who are] learned only in their religions, one should not recite a blessing upon [seeing] them.

ח הָרוֹאֶה חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵלעא – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁחָלַק מֵחָכְמָתוֹ לִירֵאָיו".עב חַכְמֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם,עג שֶׁחֲכָמִים בְּחָכְמַת הָעוֹלָםעד – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנָּתַן מֵחָכְמָתוֹ לְבָשָׂר וְדָם".עה וְאִם אֵינָן חֲכָמִים אֶלָּא בְּדָתָם – אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם.עו

9 One who sees non-Jewish kings must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who has given from His glory to flesh and blood.”

Even a blind person who knows that a king is passing by should recite the blessing. This rule also applies regarding all the other blessings recited over [things that are] seen (mentioned in this chapter), since they are not related to the experience of satisfaction, but are mediums to recall the praise of G‑d, blessed be He.

ט הָרוֹאֶה מַלְכֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָםעז – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנָּתַן מִכְּבוֹדוֹ לְבָשָׂר וְדָם".עח וַאֲפִלּוּ סוּמָא שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ עוֹבֵר – מְבָרֵךְ.עט וְהוּא הַדִּין בְּכָל שְׁאָר בִּרְכוֹת הָרְאִיָּה (שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּפֶרֶק זֶה) שֶׁאֵינָהּפ שֶׁל הֲנָאָהפא אֶלָּא שֶׁעַל יְדֵי כֵּן נִזְכָּרִים שִׁבְחוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם בָּרוּךְ הוּא.פב

10 It is a mitzvah to endeavor to see a king, even of a non-Jewish nation. [However,] if one has seen [a king] once, he should not interrupt his Torah studies another time to see [a king], unless he has a larger military escort and greater glory [than the first time he saw a king].

י מִצְוָה לְהִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִרְאוֹת מֶלֶךְ,פג אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם.פד וְאִם רָאָה פַּעַם אַחַת – אַל יְבַטֵּל מִלִּמּוּדוֹ יוֹתֵר לִרְאוֹתוֹ, אִם לֹא שֶׁבָּא בְּחַיִל יוֹתֵר וּבְכָבוֹד גָּדוֹל יוֹתֵר.פה

11 One who sees Jewish homes in a state of [prosperous] habitation3 must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who establishes the boundary of the widow.” [If he sees Jewish homes that have been] destroyed, he must recite the blessing “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe, the true Judge (Dayan Ha’emes).” The general custom is to only recite these blessings on synagogues in which people pray.

One who sees Jewish graves must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who formed you in judgment, and sustained you in judgment, and nourished you in judgment. He brought about your death in judgment and knows the number of you all. In the future, He will resurrect you and maintain you in judgment.” He should conclude:4 “Blessed are You, G‑d Who resurrects the dead.”5

יא הָרוֹאֶה בָּתֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיִשּׁוּבָןפו – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם מַצִּיב גְּבוּל אַלְמָנָה".פז בְּחֻרְבָּנָן – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, דַּיַּן הָאֱמֶת".פח וְהָעוֹלָם נָהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְבָרֵךְ אֶלָּא עַל בָּתֵּי כְּנֵסִיּוֹת שֶׁמִּתְפַּלְּלִין בְּתוֹכָם.פט

הָרוֹאֶה קִבְרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין, וְזָן אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין, וְכִלְכֵּל אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין,צ וְהֵמִית אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין,צא וְיוֹדֵעַ מִסְפַּר כֻּלְּכֶם,צב וְהוּא עָתִיד לְהַחֲיוֹתְכֶם וּלְהָקִים אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין",צג וְחוֹתֵם: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', מְחַיֵּה הַמֵּתִים".צד

12 [The following laws apply when] one sees strangely formed creatures. If they were born in this manner, he should recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Who alters the forms of the created beings” (mishaneh habri’os). If their form was altered after [birth], he should recite the blessing Dayan ha’emes. [He should] mention G‑d’s name and His Sovereignty [when reciting the blessing Dayan ha’emes] if he feels distress [over] the [deformed] creatures’ [condition], as has been explained.6 One who sees desirable and beautiful trees and attractive creatures should recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, Who possesses such [created beings] in His world” (shekachah Lo b’olamo).

יב הָרוֹאֶה בְּרִיּוֹת מְשֻׁנּוֹת,צה אִם הֵם מִמְּעֵי אִמָּן – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, מְשַׁנֵּה הַבְּרִיּוֹת". וְאִם נִשְׁתַּנּוּ אַחַר כָּךְ – מְבָרֵךְ "דַּיַּן הָאֱמֶת"צו בְּשֵׁם וּמַלְכוּת אִם מִצְטַעֵר עֲלֵיהֶם,צז כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר.צח

הָרוֹאֶה אִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְנָאוֹת וּבְרִיּוֹת נָאוֹתצט – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁכָּכָה לוֹ בְּעוֹלָמוֹ".ק

13 [The following rules apply to] all blessings recited over [things that are] seen: If one sees the same entity over which he recited the blessing again within thirty days, he should not recite another blessing. These thirty days are counted from the day it was [last] seen. (For example, if one saw [the entity] on Sunday, should he see it again after four weeks, on Tuesday, he should recite the blessing again.)

If, however, he saw another similar entity [within these thirty days], for example, another king or another [great Torah] scholar, he must recite another blessing. [Indeed,] a second blessing is required if he saw the two, one immediately after the other.

[There are, however,] exceptions [to this rule: for example,] one who sees Jewish graves. Even if one sees another [Jewish] grave within thirty days, he should not recite another blessing. Similarly, when one sees the [objects of the] blessings mishaneh habrios and shekachah Lo b’olamo, he should not recite any further blessing at all, even after thirty days. He only [recites these blessings] the first time he saw the great novelty.

יג כָּל בִּרְכוֹת הָרְאִיָּה, אִם חוֹזֵר וְרוֹאֶה אוֹתוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁבֵּרַךְ עָלָיו בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם – אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ,קא וּמוֹנִין מִיּוֹם הָרְאִיָּה (כְּגוֹן אִם רָאָה בְּיוֹם א' בְּשַׁבָּת, כְּשֶׁחוֹזֵר וְרוֹאֶה בְּסוֹף ד' שָׁבוּעוֹת בְּיוֹם ג' – חוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְקב).

אֲבָל אִם רָאָה אַחַר כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ, כְּגוֹן מֶלֶךְ אַחֵר אוֹ חָכָם אַחֵר, אֲפִלּוּ רָאָה זֶה אַחַר זֶה מִיָּד – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָרֵךְ,קג חוּץ מִקִּבְרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ רָאָה קֶבֶר אַחֵרקד – אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ תּוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים,קה וְחוּץ מִבִּרְכַּת "מְשַׁנֵּה הַבְּרִיּוֹת" וּבִרְכַּת "שֶׁכָּכָה לוֹ בְּעוֹלָמוֹ", שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עַל כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ כְּלָלקו אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים אֶלָּא בְּפַעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁרוֹאֶה הַחִדּוּשׁ גָּדוֹל.קז

14 One who goes out during the days of Nissan and sees blossoming trees must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, Whose world is not lacking anything; He created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to mankind.” This blessing is only recited the first time that he sees [this sight during the month of Nissan] each year.7

יד הַיּוֹצֵא בִּימֵי נִיסָןקח וְרָאָה אִילָנוֹתקט שֶׁמּוֹצִיאִין פֶּרַחקי – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁלֹּא חִסַּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם, וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם".קיא וְאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ אֶלָּא בְּפַעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁרוֹאֶה בְּכָל שָׁנָה.קיב

15 On shooting stars, earth tremors, lightning, thunder, and hurricane winds, one must recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, Who performs the work of creation.” If one wishes, he may recite the blessing: “Blessed are You, G‑d our L‑rd, King of the universe Whose power and might fill the world.”

If one heard thunder and saw lightning at the same time, he should recite one blessing over both. If, however, one followed the other, he should recite a blessing on the first event and [recite another] blessing on the second.

The general custom in these regions is to recite the blessing “…Who performs the work of creation,” upon [seeing] lightning, and [the blessing] “…Whose power and might fill the world,” upon [hearing] thunder. [The rationale is that] on most occasions, thunder and lightning follow immediately one after the other. People do not wish to recite the same blessing twice, once directly after the other, because it is preferable to praise the Omnipresent with many praises rather than with a single praise. They chose [the blessing] “…Whose power and might fill the world” for thunder, since thunder suggests power and might more than lightning does.

טו עַל הַזִּיקִין, וְהוּא כְּמִין כּוֹכָב הַיּוֹרֶה כְּחֵץ בְּאֹרֶךְ הַשָּׁמַיִם מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְנִמְשָׁךְ אוֹרוֹ כְּשֵׁבֶט,קיג וְעַל הַזְּוָעוֹת,קיד וְהוּא רַעֲדַת הָאָרֶץ,קטו וְעַל הַבְּרָקִים, וְעַל הָרְעָמִים, וְעַל הָרוּחַקטז שֶׁנָּשַׁב בְּזַעַף,קיז וְהוּא רוּחַ סְעָרָה חֲזָקָה בְּיוֹתֵר,קיח עַל כָּל אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ: "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית". וְאִם רוֹצֶה – יֹאמַר:קיט "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם".קכ

וְאִם שָׁמַע רַעַם וְרָאָה בָּרָק כְּאֶחָד – מְבָרֵךְ עַל שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּרָכָה אַחַת.קכא אֲבָל בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה – מְבָרֵךְ עַל זֶה וְחוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ עַל זֶה.קכב

וְנָהֲגוּ הָעוֹלָם בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ לְבָרֵךְ עַל הַבָּרָק "עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית" וְעַל הָרַעַם "שֶׁכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם",קכג לְפִי שֶׁבְּרֹב פְּעָמִים הֵם בָּאִים זֶה אַחַר זֶה מִיָּד וְאֵינָם חֲפֵצִים לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה אַחַת ב' פְּעָמִים זֶה אַחַר זֶה, כִּי טוֹב יוֹתֵר לְשַׁבֵּחַ לַמָּקוֹם בְּרֹב תִּשְׁבָּחוֹת מִלְּשַׁבְּחוֹ בְּשֶׁבַח אֶחָד,קכד וּבָחֲרוּ לָרַעַם "שֶׁכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם", לְפִי שֶׁהָרַעַם מַרְאֶה כֹּחַ וּגְבוּרָה יוֹתֵר מִן הַבָּרָק.קכה

16 As long as the clouds have not dispersed, all the lightning [one sees] is covered by the blessing he recited originally. This [rule] also applies regarding thunder bursts. If, however, [the clouds] dispersed between lightning bolts or thunder bursts, it is necessary to recite another blessing over the [later thunder and lightning].

טז כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא נִתְפַּזְּרוּ הֶעָבִים – נִפְטָר עַל כָּל הַבְּרָקִים בִּבְרָכָה שֶׁבֵּרַךְ בְּפַעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה, וְכֵן עַל הָרְעָמִים.קכו אֲבָל אִם נִתְפַּזְּרוּ בֵּין בָּרָק לְבָרָק וּבֵין רַעַם לְרַעַם – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם.קכז

17 [The following rules apply when] one was sitting in an impure place8 and heard thunder or saw lightning: If it is possible for him to go out and recite the blessing immediately after9 the end of the thunder burst or lightning bolt — e.g., he did not yet touch an unclean area [of his body] and did not yet relieve himself, or [he did, but] is able to wash his hands in this brief interval10 — he must [do so and] go out and recite the blessing.

If these options are not feasible, he should not go out. After this brief interval, he may not recite the blessing on what occurred. There are authorities who differ [with this opinion. However,] when there is an unresolved question regarding [whether or not to recite a] blessing, the lenient position is taken [and no blessing is recited]. Hence, after this brief interval, he should recite the blessing without mentioning G‑d’s name and His Sovereignty.

יז הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב בְּמָקוֹם לֹא טָהוֹרקכח וְשָׁמַע קוֹל רַעַם אוֹ רָאָה בָּרָק, אִם יָכוֹל לָצֵאת וּלְבָרֵךְ תּוֹךְ כְּדֵי דִּבּוּרקכט לְסִיּוּם הָרַעַם אוֹ הַבָּרָק – צָרִיךְ לָצֵאת וּלְבָרֵךְ,קל וּכְגוֹן שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע עֲדַיִן בִּמְקוֹם הַטִּנֹּפֶתקלא וְלֹא עָשָׂה צְרָכָיו עֲדַיִן,קלב אוֹ שֶׁיָּכוֹל לִטֹּל יָדָיו תּוֹךְ כְּדֵי דִּבּוּר,קלג וְאִם לָאוקלד – לֹא יֵצֵא.קלה

וְאַחַר כְּדֵי דִּבּוּר – אֵין לְבָרֵךְ עַל הֶעָבָר.קלו וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִים בָּזֶה.קלז וּסְפֵק בְּרָכוֹת לְהָקֵל. לָכֵןקלח אַחַר תּוֹךְ כְּדֵי דִּבּוּר – יְבָרֵךְ בְּלֹא שֵׁם וּמַלְכוּת.קלט