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Does one say birkat hagomel after taking the Eurostar (eg from London to Paris)?

I know we say it after: being freed from jail, being healed from sickness, travelling at sea, or travelling in the desert.

1) The train travels through the English Channel. I'm assuming this would still be called a "sea" by halakha.

2) We are travelling by train, whereas the bracha was probably intended for boats. I know (most agree) that aeroplanes require gomel, so I'd assume it's the same for a train.

3) I'm also wondering if there's something to be said about the length of the journey? It's quite short and a lot of it isn't even underwater.

  • Could you explain more what the Eurostar is? – robev Aug 6 '19 at 20:12
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    I have not seen that most agree airplanes require gamel rather than a modified tefila haderech...this is entirely parnthetical to the main thrust of your question but a source would be usefuk – Josh K Aug 6 '19 at 20:15
  • Considering the large number of people who have successfully swum across the Channel, I'm not sure it should qualify as a yam (sea) rather than, say, very wide "river". – Loewian Aug 7 '19 at 5:16
  • @robev the Eurostar is an express train going from Paris to London under the Channel (the part of the sea between France and UK). It goes through a specially constructed tunnel there and is a very popular option to travel between these two cities – mbloch Aug 7 '19 at 5:34
  • @Loewian - "very wide river"?!? I wonder if any of the guys crossing it on D-Day thought it was one of those.. – Gary Aug 7 '19 at 13:11
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Contemporary Poskim - שבט הלוי and להורות נתן among others - are of the opinion that one does not say the bracha after traveling in a tunnel under water, since there is no constant danger. They were discussing travel by car etc., the same reason should apply by a train.

You might want to see the answer given by mbloch here Birchas Ha'Gomel for ocean fishing for a second reason.

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  • My cousin ע"ה was one of Mitterrand's liaisons for the Chunnel project in the 1980s and his experiences with it would probably contravene the idea that there's a lack of constant danger – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 12 '19 at 1:31

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