Brachot on Sights

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General laws of Brachot on Sights

  1. If one saw a friend one a television or heard them on the phone or radio, one doesn’t make any Bracha for seeing or hearing them. [1]
  2. All the below Brachot for certain sights are made if one hasn’t seen them in thirty days. [2]
  3. One can still make the Bracha upon seeing a wonder of nature even after one has left as long as the sight still impresses or inspires oneself. [3]
  4. Seeing from a distance or airplane is still considered good enough vision in order to make the bracha as long as one can see the sight clearly and the sight is recognizable. [4]
  5. Seeing a sight at night warrants a Bracha as long as one the sight is distinguishable even at night. [5]

Bracha for seeing a house of Avoda Zara

  1. Nowadays we do not make the Bracha for seeing a house of Avoda Zara (which was Baruch Atta…SheNatan Erech Apayim LeOvri Retzono). [6]

Bracha for seeing a scholar

  1. For seeing a great Jewish Chacham (wise scholar) the Bracha is Baruch Atta…SheChalak MeChachmato LeYire’av ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם שחלק מחכמתו . ליראיו [7] However, this Bracha is made rarely because it should only be made for a wise scholar, G-d fearing person, and man of Middot. [8]
  2. For seeing a brilliant non-Jewish secular scholar the Bracha is Baruch Atta…SheNatan MeChachmato LeBasar VeDam. [9] Some say that there’s a minhag not to make this Bracha nowadays. [10]

Bracha for seeing a cemetery

  1. For seeing a Jewish cemetery the Bracha is Baruch Atta…Asher Yatzer Etchem…Mechaye Maytim. ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם, אשר יצר אתכם בדין ודן אתכם בדין וכלכל אתכם בדין והחיה אתכם בדין, ואסף אתכם בדין, ויודע מספר כולכם, ועתיד להחיותכם ולהקימכם בדין לחיי העולם הבא, ברוך אתה ה' מחיה המתים [11] This Bracha can be made for seeing it through glass and so if one see a cemetery from a car while driving one can make this Bracha. [12] Some say that one may make the Bracha even after leaving the sight as long as one is still effected and impacted by it. [13]

Other specific Brachot on Sights

References

  1. Yalkut Yosef (vol 3 pg 406)
  2. 224:13
  3. Halichot Shlomo 23:26 writes that if one didn't make the bracha immediately upon seeing the ocean, one may make the bracha as long as the sight effects oneself (one is still inspired or in awe).
  4. Vezot HaBracha (pg 154-5), Piskei Teshuvot 228:1
  5. Vezot HaBracha (pg 154), Piskei Teshuvot 228:1
  6. S”A 224:1 writes that for seeing an Avoda Zara the Bracha is Baruch Atta…SheNatan Erech Apayim LeOvri Retzono. The Mishna Brurah 224:2 adds that this Bracha also applies if one only sees the house of the Avoda Zara. However, the Rama 224:1 writes clearly that our minhag is not to make this Bracha nowadays since we see these houses of Avoda Zara often. Mishna Brurah 224:3 extends the case to even if one didn’t see the house of Avoda Zara in thirty days one still doesn’t make the Bracha.
  7. S”A 224:6
  8. Piskei Teshuvot 224:4, Yalkut Yosef (vol 3 pg 602)
  9. S”A 224:7
  10. Piskei Teshuvot 224:5 writes that the minhag is not to make this Bracha since some say that one should make the Bracha on non-Jews that don’t keep the 7 מצות of Bnei Noach
  11. S”A 224:12, Mishna Brurah 224:17, Piskei Teshuvot 224:10, Yalkut Yosef (vol 3 pg 604)
  12. Piskei Teshuvot 224:10, Yalkut Yosef (vol 3 pg 605)
  13. Halichot Shlomo 23:26 (in the footnote) writes that if one didn't make the bracha immediately upon seeing the Jewish cemetery, one may make the bracha as long as the sight effects oneself.