Bracha for good or bad news

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HaTov VeHaMietiv

  1. For hearing good news from a reliable source which is good for oneself and for others one should make the Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv. However, for hearing good new which is only good for oneself, one should make Shehecheyanu. [1]
  2. Nowadays, we minimize the amount of times these Brachot are said.[2] In cases where Halacha certainly obligates a Bracha, if one does make the Bracha even if it’s not the minhag, one has done properly. [3]
  3. If one didn't make the Bracha at the time one heard about the good or bad news or saw the event because of one's physical uncleanliness or location's uncleanliness, one may still make the bracha later. [4]

Bracha for a change of wine

  1. If one is drinking wine and another wine was brought to the table one should make the bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv upon the second wine[5] according to the following conditions:
  2. If the second wine is brought because the first wine was used up and not because it was better, one doesn't recite the bracha of hatov vehameitiv on the second wine. [6]
  3. An individual must be drinking with someone else in order to say HaTov VeHaMetiv on the second wine. [7]
  4. The second wine must be healthier than the first wine in order to say HaTov VeHaMetiv. [8]

Bracha upon having a baby

  1. According to most ashkenazic authorities, if the father hears or sees that his wife had a baby boy both the father and mother should make a Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv. [9]The Sephardic minhag is not to make HaTov VeHaMeitiv but rather to make Shehecheyanu at the Brit Milah. [10]
  2. If one didn't make the bracha right away, one may still say the bracha. [11]
  3. If one's wife had a baby girl both the father and mother should make the bracha of Shehecheyanu. [12]

Bracha on Rain

  1. Chazal established a Bracha for when there’s a drought in Israel that caused pain or difficulty and then there was enough rain that the water droplets in the puddles splash, one drop towards another drop. Minhag is not to make this Bracha outside Israel. The lashon of the Bracha is found in the Siddur starting with the words “Modim Anachnu Lach…” if you don’t have a field, however if you have a field (that’s 15 square Amot) the Bracha is Shehecheyanu. [13]

Dayan HaEmet

  1. For hearing bad news one should make Dayan Emet. This Bracha should be made with the full intent and accepting soul just like one is happy for good news. [14]
    1. A great loss of money which causes one pain can warrant Dayan HaEmet. [15]
  2. One should make Dayan HaEmet with Shem Umalchut upon hearing the passing of a relative which one is obligated to mourn. [16]
  3. The minhag is say Baruch Dayan HaEmet without Shem Umalchut upon hearing about the passing of a Talmid Chacham unless he was one's Rebbe Muvhak. [17] Nonetheless, upon such bad news one should certainly feel a sense of mourning.[18]

Sources

  1. S”A 222:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:1
  2. Mishna Brurah 222:1
  3. Piskei Teshuvot 222:1
  4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:1
  5. Shulchan Aruch 175:1
  6. Kitzur S”A 49:12, Mishna Brurah 175:3
  7. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 49:13
  8. Kitzur 49:10
    • The Gemara Brachot 59b writes that if a man hears that his wife gave birth to a baby boy should say the bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv. This is codified as halacha by the Tur and Shulchan Aruch 223:1. Also, the Bet Yosef doesn't quote any rishon who argues. Many poskim agree to this halacha including: Magen Avraham, Taz, Mishna Brurah, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:9, and Chaye Adam 62:1.
    • However, Aruch HaShulchan 223:2 points out that the Rambam and Rif didn't quote this halacha and perhaps don't hold of it. He explains that perhaps the gemara was only taking about someone who was very much anticipating have a baby boy.
    • Is it obligatory? The Rama comments that there are those who are lenient because it's only Reshut (optional) and not an obligation. However, Magen Avraham 223:3 explains that this practice is incorrect. Beiur Halacha s.v. VeYesh writes that most poskim including the darkei moshe hold that this bracha isn't reshut but rather an obligation.
    • Magen Avraham says that you can make the bracha whether you see it or hear about it. Mishna Brurah 223:1 says that Shulchan Aruch choose the case of hearing about it in order to teach that even if you just heard about it you can make the bracha.
    • The Bet Yosef 223:1 quotes the Hagahot Maimon who says that the bracha is applicable to both the wife and the husband because both benefit from the good news.
    • Chazon Ovadyah (Brachot pg 388) quotes the Chesed LeAlafim that the Sephardic minhag is not to make the HaTov VeHaMeitiv at the time of the birth but to have the Shehecheyanu at the brit milah cover the whole occasion. He also quotes Rav Kapach explains that this is the reason the Rambam didn't quote this halacha. Kaf Hachaim 223:6 and Halacha Brurah 223:1 agree that the minhag is to wait to make Shehecheyanu at the milah. The Birkat Hashem (Rav Moshe HaLevi, vol 4, 2:61) and Brachot Shir VeHaShevach (pg 475-6), however, argues with the Chesed LeAlafim and says that it is proper to follow Shulchan Aruch to make the bracha.
  9. Mishna Brurah 223:3 writes that even if he didn't make the bracha right away he can still make the bracha because certainly it's still great news.
  10. Mishna Brurah 223:2. See also Piskei Teshuvot 223:1. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe 5:43:5) writes that even though a person usually has more worries about the finances and difficulty of finding a proper suitor for a daughter than he has for a boy, these concerns don't prevent his joy upon the birth of a girl. Therefore, it is fitting to recite Shehechiyanu.
  11. S”A 221:1 codifies this Bracha for when it rains after a drought. The Rama 221:1 writes that nowadays this Bracha isn’t made for lands outside Israel where there’s usually a lot of rain. Beiur Halacha s.v. Mevarchim explains that S”A holds that if the rain drops splash at one another that’s enough rain to make the Bracha. Piskei Teshuvot 221 specifies that it must be a field of 15 square Amot. See Piskei Teshuvot (Siman 221 note 3) who writes that he has never heard anyone ever make this Bracha and so one shouldn’t make it with Shem UMalchut. Birkat Hashem who writes that the minhag is not to make this Bracha nowadays.
  12. S”A 222:2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:2
  13. Beiur Halacha 222 D”H Dayan HeEmet
  14. Mishna Brurah 223:8, Piskei Teshuvot 222:2, Yalkut Yosef 222:2
  15. Yalkut Yosef 222:2, Halacha Brurah 223:7
  16. Mishna Brurah 223:8