Hagomel-Must a woman after birth recite Hagomel

Hagomel-Must a woman after birth recite Hagomel:[1]

Women are obligated to say the blessing of Hagomel just like men. Accordingly, every woman after birth should say the blessing of Hagomel after she recovers from her birth.[2] [Practically, while this is the custom amongst Sephardim[3], the custom today amongst the vast majority of Ashkenazi communities[4] is for women to no longer say the blessing of Hagomel at any time, including after birth.[5] Regarding the Chabad custom, some families and Rabbanim[6] are of the opinion that the blessing should be said, while other families and Rabbanim[7] are of the opinion that the blessing should not be said. As for the Rebbe’s opinion, there exist conflicting evidence as to his opinion on this matter.[8] Whatever the case, indeed, the widespread custom in Chabad follows that of the world for women not to say Hagomel after birth, or any other occasion.]

How and where to say the blessing:[9] She should say the blessing in the Ezras Nashim of the synagogue and have 10 men who are inside the main sanctuary listen to the blessing. [In the Jerusalem area, the custom is to make a minyan for Maariv in the house of the Yoledes, and have her say the blessing of Hagomel on this occasion.[10] If she cannot get a Minyan of 10 men to say the blessing in their presence, then it is disputed amongst the Poskim[11] as to whether she may say the blessing in private or with ten women and one man. Practically, she is to say the blessing without God’s name.[12]]

How long after birth must the Yoledes wait to say the blessing?

A woman after birth is considered similar to a sick person for a period of 30 days from birth.[13] This would imply the blessing should not be said until 30 days after birth. However, some Poskim[14] rule that the blessing may be said starting from seven days after birth.


[1] Admur Seder 13:3; Luach 12:9; M”A 219; Kneses Hagedola 219; Yad Aaron 219; Mahariy Molko 141; Birkeiy Yosef 219:2; Siddur Yaavetz; Shulchan Hatahor 219:4; Salmas Chaim 202; Kaf Hachaim 219:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 65:1; Igros Kodesh 20:102; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:10; Shevach Habris 5:1; Al Minhagim, Umekoroseihem p. 188

[2] The reason: Some Poskim rule that the blessing is to only be said after birth being that she is obligated to bring an offering after birth, and not after any other matter, such as recovery from another illness. [Minchas Shlomo 2:4-31; Tzitz Eliezer 19:53]

[3] Birkeiy Yosef 219:2; Ben Ish Chaiy Eikev 1:8; Kaf Hachaim 219:3; Yechaveh Daas 14:15

[4] Other Ashkenazi communities: In a minority of Ashkenazi communities, the custom is for women to say this blessing after giving birth. This includes the old Jerusalem community, known as the Yishuv Hayashan. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:10]

[5] M”A 219; Custom brought, and negated, in Kneses Hagedola 219; Halachos Ketanos 2:161; Elya Raba 219:5 in name of Toras Chaim; Shaareiy Efraim 4:28 [that so is the custom, even though he personally rejects it]; Birchas Habayis 27:17; Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:59; Aruch Hashulchan 219:6; M”B 219:3; Har Tzevi 1:163; Minchas Yitzchak 4:12; Divrei Yatziv E.H. 35; Betzel Hachochmah 6:78; Kinyan torah 4:22; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:195; Orchos Rabbeinu 1:91 that so ruled Chazon Ish and Steipler; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:10; Rav Leibal Groner in name of Rebbe, and Rav Shmuel Levitin; Shevach Habris ibid footnote 4

The reason: As it is not modest for a woman to say the blessing in front of ten men. [Halachos Ketanos ibid; M”B ibid] Alternatively, the reason is because this blessing is merely optional. [M”A ibid; See Machatzis Hashekel ibid; P”M ibid]

[6] Rav Moshe Landa in name of his father Rav Yaakov Landa that she is to say the blessing in front of 10 men, and that so was the custom in their household; Rabbi Label Groner in name of Rav Shmuel Hakohen Kahanav

[7] Rabbi Label Groner in name of Rebbe, and Rav Shmuel Levitin

[8] Rabbi Label Groner tells over the following: After my wife gave birth to a child I asked the rebbe as to whether she should say the blessing of Hagomel. The Rebbe replied questioning from where he ever heard of a woman saying the blessing of Hagomel, and told him to ask the elderly rabbis. The rabbis that he asked gave conflicting answers. Rabbi Shmuel Levitin replied that he never heard of women saying this blessing while another Rabbi, Rav Shmuel Hakohen Kahanav, stated that it was customary for the blessing to be said by woman. [See Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag Miluim 5:60; Shulchan Menachem 1 p. 347 footnote 4; Hiskashrus 683:16] Likewise, Rabbi Yaakov Landa said the blessing is to be recited. [Pardes Chabad] On the other hand, we have an explicit letter of the Rebbe discussing the recital of this blessing by women after birth, and referencing to those authorities who hold that it should be said, without making any mention that there is a Chabad custom to the contrary. [See Igros Kodesh 20:102, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:347] Furthermore, Rav Tzevi Hirsh Chitrik testifies that he once asked the rebbe after his wife gave birth as to where she should say the blessing and the Rebbe responded that it should be said immediately after the Mincha prayer, and so was done by the Rebbe’s own minyan.

[9] Seder ibid; Luach ibid; Kneses Hagedola ibid; Yad Aaron 219; Kaf Hachaim 219:3 [or in front of 10 of her male relatives]

[10] Ketzos Hashulchan 65 footnote 6

[11] Poskim who rule that she does fulfill her obligation: Kneses Hagedola ibid “at the very least it should be said in front of one man or women”; Elya Raba 219:12; Birkeiy Yosef 219:2; P”M 219 M”Z 3 that it is a Safek Bracha Levatala to say the blessing in private; Opinion in M”B 219:3 and 8 that it may be said in front of ten women and one man; Keser Shem Tov Gagin that so is the custom of some Sephardic women in London even initially; See Igros Kodesh 20:102 who questions this custom

Poskim who rule that she does not fulfill her obligation: Admur Seder 13:2; Luach 12:9; Michaber 219:3; Birchas Habayos 27:24; Kaf Hachaim 219:3; Halichos Shlomo 23 footnote 3; Yechaveh Daas 14:15; Brachos 45b that even 100 woman is equivalent to only two men; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:10

[12] Kaf Hachaim 219:3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:10

[13] See Admur 330:5

[14] Kaf Hachaim 219:7 based on 617:4

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