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Orach Chaim (225:1)

הרואה את חבירו לאחר שלשים יום אומר שהחיינו ואחר י"ב חודש מברך מחיה המתים והוא שחביב עליו הרבה ושמח בראייתו:

“One who sees his friend whom he hasn’t seen for 30 days says “Shehechiyanu”, and (if he hasn’t seen his friend) for 12 months, he blesses “Mechayei Hameisim” (who resurrects the dead). And this is (talking about) when it is his close friend and he is happy to see him.”

Nowadays, since people will know almost immediately if his friend has died, is this halacha still applicable? What if he has talked to his friend over the phone, or with text messaging during the year?

What do modern Poskim say about this?

  • possibly a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14372/170 – msh210 Aug 8 at 11:16
  • There oldest source on the matter, Halakhot Ketanot 1:220 (17th century) says if you get a letter from him then maybe you shouldn't say MM but you should definitely still say Shehechiyanu. Many Acharonim quote this and rule safek brachot lehakel. But realize there is no precedent for such a rule despite mail existing forever. It's a late chumra safek. – Double AA Aug 8 at 11:27
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    @msh210 I looked at that question and referred to it in my answer - some of the sources referred there are relevant. But the possible duplicate asks if one says a beracha when seeing someone virtually. This question asks is one says a beracha in person after seeing speaking/SMSing with someone. Related but I don't think they are duplicates – mbloch Aug 8 at 13:05
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    Possible duplicate of Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam – DonielF Aug 9 at 20:30
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R Ari Enkin (here) writes

The blessing of mechaye hameitim is only recited if one did not even hear from one’s friend over the course of an entire year. If the two friends had been in some form of contact, however, only the shehecheyanu blessing is recited – even though they had not actually seen each other for an entire year. The difference between the shehecheyanu blessing and the mechaye hameitim blessing is that the former is essentially recited in honor of the pleasure one experiences upon seeing a good friend after a lengthy absence, while the latter represents thanksgiving that the friend is still alive.

See also this related MY question: Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam, particularly here

  • Which Rishonim is he ruling like that record this limitation? – Double AA Aug 8 at 11:41

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