The Biur Halacha (229:1) writes

הרואה הקשת וכו' - לא נתבאר אם בעינן דוקא שיראהו בתמונת קשת דהוא כחצי גורן עגולה או אפילו מקצת ממנו די - It's not explained whether you need to specifically see the full half-circle [of a rainbow] or a part of it is sufficient.

Do Poskim allow one to make a beracha on seeing a portion of a rainbow but a significant percentage of it is blocked by trees or houses, or do we say safek berachos l'hakel?

  • 2
    Note full rainbows are actually circles, with most usually obscured by the horizon, so the idea that you could see a full one is hard to understand
    – Double AA
    Aug 12 at 1:01

From Halachapedia:

Some say that one must see the entire rainbow in order to make the bracha.[4] Others, however, hold that there is what to rely on if one makes the bracha upon seeing a part of the rainbow.[5]

Sources [4] Teshuvot Vehanhagot 3:76 concludes that therefore, one may not make the blessing on anything less than a full semicircle rainbow. Vezot HaBracha (pg 156, chapter 17) writes that Rav Elyashiv rules that if one saw the entire semicircle one can make the Bracha even if it’s missing a piece.

Sources [5] Chazon Ovadia (Brachot p. 473), Halacha Brurah 229:2, Birkat Hashem (v. 4, 4:35)

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