A Guide to the Thanksgiving Blessing - Bentching Gomel
Introduction to ‘Bentching Gomel’
HaGomel is a prayer said to thank God for having enabled one to emerge safely from a dangerous situation.
It is said by both men and women.
Common situations in which one would Bentch Gomel include, but are not limited to:
Safely completing a long journey, particularly one involving travel across water or a desert
and certainly one that was hazardous.
The safe delivery of a baby.
Surviving a serious accident.
Surviving an earthquake, terrorist attack, etc.
Recovering from a serious illness or operation.
For more details of the circumstances in which HaGomel is said, please consult with Rabbi Hackenbroch. HaGomel should ideally be said within three days of the relevant event, but in any case at the first available opportunity.
How do I Bentch Gomel?
The blessing of HaGomel can be said by Men and Women in the presence of a Minyan after a person goes through a life-threatening situation. This can be after surgery, a dangerous journey, childbirth, an accident. HaGomel at WPS, is usually said during or directly after the reading of the Torah on a Shabbat morning or during the Shacharit service on Monday and Thursday morning.
Any women who would like to say HaGomal or if you would like a woman to teach the blessing to you or stand with you during the service should get in touch with the Women's Officer.
The following is recited while standing.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who bestows kindness on the unworthy, who has bestowed on me much good.
Baruch Atah Adonay Eloheinu Melech HaOlam HaGomel l’Chayavim tovot Sheg’malani kol tov
Those who hear the brachah (blessing) say:
‘Amen’. May He who bestowed much good on you always bestow much good on you.
Amen. Mi Sheg’mal-ech kol tov Hu Yig’mal-ech kol tov selah
(Please note that the transliteration is in the feminine form) (See page 412 in the Green Siddur)
What else can I do to thank God?
Some may not feel comfortable to Bentch Gomel; others may wish to do something in addition to saying the blessing.
Many possibilities exist, but three suggestions are:
1. Giving Tzedakah (charity) to show your gratitude to God for helping you.
2. Getting involved in some form of caring project to help others in challenging situations.
3. Give a Kiddush to celebrate your survival.