If the candidate I supported in a political election wins, does this qualify as good news for reciting the blessing hatov ve-hameitiv (Who is good and beneficent) upon hearing the results?

In my eyes, this would be good news for me and everyone else.

On the opposite side of the equation, if my favored candidate loses the election, does this qualify as bad news for reciting Dayan ha-emet (the Judge of Truth) upon hearing the results?

Does anybody know of any precedent for a bracha in politics?

  • Voting shouldn't matter really as much as who you thought should win. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 6:02
  • Right, I wrote "vote for" to express who I wanted to win. – Aryeh Oct 28 '12 at 6:05
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    Why would you say "hatov..." if your man wins? You don't know that that's good news. – msh210 Oct 28 '12 at 7:25
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    If you really believe that who gets elected will have any effect (positive or negative) on you directly, you probably don't need to say any brachot, since you are obviously a shoteh :-) – AviD Oct 28 '12 at 8:41
  • @msh210 Well, you think it is. We can never know the ultimate outcome of various events. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 13:13

After discussing the laws of brachos for various experiences, I believe it's the Chayei Adam (or the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch? Don't recall off-hand) who concludes: "and a lot of this is basically, if you feel moved to say it, then say it."

If to you, the victory of Candidate A over B feels like really, really good news (akin to oh, a financial windfall, or the birth of a new child), and you feel moved to express that feeling in religious terms, well nu, who's to stop you. (I wouldn't recommend making the bracha really loudly in a crowd of people who were opposed to the candidate, for obvious reasons.) Or if you think the election of Candidate A is terribly tragic, well dayan haemet is there so we can express grief in a religious fashion.

Now we believe that G-d has a plan, so even if you feel an election turned out disastrously, keep an open mind about how things can work out for the best -- but all that's contained within dayan ha'emet -- G-d is the judge of what is truth. The loss of a loved one may work itself out in complicated and even positive ways -- but when we're grieving, we express our grief.

G-d asks Jonah hatov charah lach, which either translates (in an Aramaic sense) as "are you exceedingly that upset?", or (in a Hebrew sense) "is it good to be that upset?" But that's a philosophical question of how you should feel to begin with. If something strikes you as particularly good or bad news, you respond. That's part of being human.

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    If you could find the CA or KSA inside that would greatly improve your answer. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 13:13
  • I don't see it in KSA 59 or CA 1:62 – Double AA Oct 29 '12 at 5:52
  • @Shalom: That's a good answer. Can you provide a source for this? – Aryeh Nov 9 '12 at 5:58

We don't add extra brachas for such daily events. They used to (for example the bracha on seeing a friend for the first time after a long time), but these days we only say the specifically prescribed brachas and that's all.

Here are some interesting brachot and so far as I know people don't generally say those brachot anymore.

You most definitely would not say dyan haemet - that's reserved for death, and even then we don't say a full bracha, certainly not for something like an election.

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    -1 If you are going to uproot an entire section of Rabbinic law, I would hope you could at least cite a source. Plus it is wrong to say that Shehechiyanu on a friend is an extra bracha; it is just as proscribed (it's in a Gemara) as every other one. Moreover, Dayan HaEmet is certainly not reserved for death; the Gemara labels different financial tragedies to be within its scope. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 13:11
  • @DoubleAA I'm not uprooting anything. All I know is that no one says all these additional brachas anymore. When was the last time you made a bracha on seeing a monkey or elephant? There is a list of brachot in my siddur, those are the ones people say, and I've never seen anyone ever make any of the others (with the one exception of the bracha on a queen). But you are right: I should look for a source before answering. Knowing something because that's how people around me act is not enough. – Ariel Oct 28 '12 at 19:49
  • I said that bracha the last time I went to the zoo (maybe a year and a half ago). Maybe you don't see people say them because you don't hang out at the zoo and watch Jews' lips. That doesn't mean it isn't halacha. Certain brachot perhaps we don't say out of safek (eg. are modern democratically elected leaders considered a king?) but they still exist. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 19:50
  • @DoubleAA I hope you saw the edit to my comment. But really you made the bracha? Is that common practice? I've been on school trips to the zoo, and with other people, and no one has ever made a bracha. (And I've actually wondered about it.) – Ariel Oct 28 '12 at 19:51
  • I see it now. I can't testify about "common practice" for the same reason I said you couldn't, but poskim discuss it (see RSZA here and ROY in Yabia Omer 4 OC 20) so it seems like it's still the halacha. FWIW I know plenty of religious Jews who never remember the brachot on lightning, so kol shekein at the zoo. – Double AA Oct 28 '12 at 20:00

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