Bracha for a Miracle

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Miracles That Happened to All Jews

  1. If you see a place where a miracle happened to the majority of Bnei Yisrael one should make the Bracha of SheAssa Nissim LeAvotenu BaMakom HaZeh with Shem UMalchut. However, nowadays since it is unclear where these locations are exactly, one should only say the Bracha without Shem UMalchut when seeing the Jordan river, the walls of Yericho, and Mountain of Carmel. [1]
  2. On Yom Haatzmaut no bracha is recited for the Hallel or a Shehechiyanu for the miracle of the Jews being saved in 1948. However, Hallel is recited without a bracha.[2]

Miracles That Happened to an Individual

  1. An individual must make this Bracha when seeing a place that a miracle happened to him even if the appearance of that place has changed. [3] The text of the beracha is SheAssa Li Nes BaMakom HaZeh. [4]
  2. Children and grandchildren of an individual who was saved by a miracle should make a Bracha when seeing the place where their ancestor was saved. If a child is born to the individual who was saved after the miracle, the descendants of that child for forever can make the Bracha upon seeing the place where their ancestor was saved. Similarly, students can make the Bracha upon seeing the place where their Rabbi was saved. [5]

What Constitutes a Miracle?

  1. An individual should only make a Bracha for a supernatural miracle. However, if there was a natural salvation one should make the Bracha without Shem UMalchut. [6] One example of a natural salvation is in case of an attack of bandits or wild animals and after one screams the attackers runs away. [7] Another example in which one would not recite the bracha is if a rock fell next to someone and just missed their head. [8]
  2. The salvation which requires a Bracha is only for situations where there was a life threatening danger which under normal circumstances death would be incurred. Examples include: a rock falling on a person’s head, a wall falling on a person, a loaded wagon running over a person, falling from a very tall ladder. [9]
  3. If a person was in a car accident even if the car flipped over several times and was saved he shouldn't recite this bracha with Hashem's name.[10]

Sources

  1. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 218:1, Piskei Teshuvot 218:3, Kum Hithalech Ba'aretz 25
  2. Yalkut Yosef 218:1
  3. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 218:4, Mishna Brurah 218:7, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:8
  4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:8
  5. Mishna Brurah 218:16
  6. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 218:9
  7. Mishna Brurah 218:28 and Shaar HaTziyun
  8. Ben Ish Chai (Ekev n. 12)
  9. Shulchan Aruch 218:9, Mishna Brurah 218:28, Shoneh Halachot 218:8
  10. Yalkut Yosef 218:4 and Halacha Brurah 218:19 write that we're concerned for the opinion of Shulchan Aruch that one only recites the bracha for a supernatural miracle. The example they give is someone who survived a terrible car accident. Halacha Brurah writes that it is true even if the car flipped over several times. Yalkut Yosef quotes his father, Rav Ovadia, that someone who survived a terrorist attack of being stabbed recites this bracha without Hashem's name.