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On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)?

  • Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name?
  • Did he have to learn in a prestigious college (like MIT)?
  • Can he just be a philosophy student?
  • Can one an "expert technician" (which does involves some intellectual skills)?
  • What if he's evil, would you say a blessing on a Nazi scientist?

Inspired by Upon whom would one make this blessing?

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Science -- mi yodeya? – jake May 25 '12 at 18:54
Does madda necessarily mean "science' in the gemara, or can it just mean "wisdom"- i.e. philosophy and things like that too? – Baal Shemot Tovot May 25 '12 at 18:56
@هه: Mishnah Berurah 224:10, citing Pri Megadim, says that it is referring to "the seven aspects of wisdom" - i.e., the classical liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, logic, mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy. – Alex May 25 '12 at 21:27
Did I hear MIT? – Double AA May 31 '12 at 6:18
The answer to all your questions is no. He needs to be exceptionally wise, which is not connected to having a PhD. – Ariel K May 31 '12 at 14:14

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks mentioned in a lecture that he says this blessing on meeting Nobel laureates. That may not be an exclusive list (there may be others who are also deserving of blessing beyond the Nobel laureates), but it is the beginnings of an answer.

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