Saying the blessing of Hagomel after being freed from incarceration

Saying the blessing of Hagomel after being freed from incarceration:[1]

One who was incarcerated in a prison[2] for capital punishment[3], or for monetary motives[4] and was chained with steel cuffs[5], and has now been released, is to recite the blessing of Hagomel. [Thus, anyone who received a prison sentence which was overly torturous on him, and he is now free, is to recite this blessing.[6] Certainly, if one was placed in a prison together with murderers and rapists and his life was in danger, the blessing is to be said.[7] The above only applies for one who was imprisoned for a long period of time, however one who was imprisoned for only a few days, is not to say the blessing upon his release.[8]]

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[1] Seder 13/2; Luach 12/8; Ketzos Hashulchan 65:1

[2] Michaber 219:1 and Brachos 54b “Those released from prison”

[3] Admur Seder and Luach ibid; M”A 219:1

[4] Admur Seder and Luach ibid; Elya Raba 219:2; Malbushei Yoim Tov; Riy Migash 90; Rabbeinu Yona Brachos 43 in name of Rav Haiy Gaon; Birkeiy Yosef 219; Nesiv Hachaim [of Karban Nesanel] 219; Kitzur SHU”A 61:1; Birchas Habayis 27:2; Aruch Hashulchan 219:5; Kaf Hachaim 219:11; Shulchan Hatahor 219:3; M”B 219:3 “Many Poskim argue on M”A ibid”; See Machatzis Hashekel 219:1; P”M 219 A”A 1; Biur Halacha 219:1 “Chavush”; Beis Av 1:6 rules Sefardim should say with Hashem’s name, but not Ashkenazim

[5] Admur Seder and Luach ibid; Shaar Hakolel 23:2 that so applies even according to M”A and Rabbeinu Yona ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid footnote 4; See Nesiv Hachaim ibid in question; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:6

The reason: As the verse states in Tehillim 107:10 “Asirei Ani Ubarzel”, which shows that one who is chained is considered imprisoned and should recite the blessing. This is because such a person is considered to be under a great oppression. However, one who was incarcerated without conditions of suffering, may not recite the blessing, as it has no basis in scripture. [Shaar Hakolel 23:2; Ketzos Hashulchan 65:1 footnote 4; See also Michaber E.H. 141:16; Likkutei Sichos 12:27 footnote 39] Accordingly, Hagomel is not just said when one’s life was endangered, but even when one was released from a greatly oppressing situation.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule a blessing may never be recited unless one’s life was endangered, and hence being freed from incarceration hat did not have a death penalty does not deserve a blessing even though one had lack of freedom and one was under suffering and. [Implication of M”A 219:1; Machatzis Hashekel ibid that so applies even according to Talmidei Rabbeinu Yona and Rav Haiy Gaon; Conclusion of Biur Halacha 219:1; See P”M 219 A”A 1] Other Poskim rule that being freed from any incarceration deserves a blessing, even if one’s life was not endangered and he was not in chains, as since one was not a free man, and now he is free, he should therefore thank Hashem. [Elya Raba ibid in name of Malbushei Yom Tov; Riy Migash 90; Kaf Hachaim 219:11; All Poskim ibid who do not add this caveat to the case of monetary imprisonment] Some Poskim conclude one is to recite the blessing without Sheim Umalchus. [P”M ibid; Beis Av 1:6 rules Sefardim should say with Hashem’s name, but not Ashkenazim]

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 219:6

[7] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[8] Biur Halacha 219:1 “Chavush” that so applies according to all opinions; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Birchas Habayis 27:2 writes to say without Hashem’s name if one was imprisoned for only a week, unless he was imprisoned for an unlimited amount of time, and was suddenly released on the first day, in which case the blessing is to be recited

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