The Gemara (Berakhot 58b) mentions that upon seeing 600,000 Jews one says the blessing "Baruch...Chacham HaRazim" (Who knows all secrets), and this is halacha (Sh.A. O.C. 224:5).

Does any know of any time in history (besides Har Sinai) when this has happened? I would think that such a large gathering liklier in the State of Israel, but has the blessing been said?

[A separate question would be how you even count such an event. Besides the sheer mass, we can't count Jews to begin with (perhaps we would go through ticket stubs).]

I'd love to hear if anything of the sort has been organized.

  • 1
    Well from that same gemara we see that Rav Chanina said it on 2 ppl so that another time ,but u are asking on the 600000 as opposed to the bracha.
    – sam
    Sep 12, 2012 at 18:37
  • I remember once (around 2006) there was a rally (maybe pro-Israel?) on the Mall in DC and they were estimating and trying to get to 600k, but fell short. Sep 12, 2012 at 19:00
  • What about Meron during Lag BaOmer? Last year there were half a million Jews over there (myself not included), maybe they said it: jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=174455
    – Aryeh
    Sep 12, 2012 at 19:20
  • 3
    And yet somehow, Reshuyot haRabbim were so common that Chazal still felt a need to make incredibly restrictive Gezeirot lest someone accidentally carry. I'd have to assume this Bracha was said all the time!
    – Double AA
    Sep 12, 2012 at 19:21
  • The Gemara there says that one of the Tanayim said it during the aliya leregel Sep 12, 2012 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


At the rally about drafting yeshiva bachurim on March 2, 2014, over 600,000 Jews attended, and the blessing Chacham HaRazim was said. (two links)

The blessing was led by Rav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, and introduced by Rav Elimelech Tirnauer. (Hamodia)

  • 1
    Oh, the irony of such Israeli unity! Is there anymore info on this. Only the headline mentions the bracha was said, but the article doesn't give any explanation (i.e., how did they know the protestors were 600K at the time, who authorized saying the bracha, etc.)
    – Aryeh
    May 13, 2014 at 21:08
  • @Aryeh I added more info (from Hamodia)
    – Ypnypn
    May 13, 2014 at 21:16
  • One of your links claims there was really only 300000 and hence the bracha was levatalla I guess.
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2014 at 2:15

According to a contemporary news report, on October 7, 2013 Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was laid to rest with 850,000 people attending the funeral.

  • 1
    I've seen many different estimations. These things tend to be over-estimated in the initial reports. Can you source definitively that more than 600K were there?
    – Double AA
    Oct 8, 2013 at 5:56
  • 2
    What @DoubleAA said. Also, were they gathered in one place (or, say, 'attending' via watching and listening on screens)? And do you know about whether the b'racha was said (by anyone of halachic authority, say)? In any event, welcome to Mi Yodeya! I hope you stick around and post good questions and answers, and may we share s'machos in the future.
    – msh210
    Oct 8, 2013 at 5:57
  • It would be interesting to know if the blessing was said. It could be that they were spread over a large enough area that one wouldn't be able to see all of them in one shot (unless one were to be in a helicopter). Oct 8, 2013 at 6:12
  • It seems like it answers the first half (that more than 600,000 people came) while not answering the (IMO more important) second half (whether a bracha was said). Oct 8, 2013 at 6:16
  • 1
    @ArielK, in what context would 600,000 people fit in a single venue?
    – Seth J
    Oct 8, 2013 at 20:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .