Is there a bracha for hail, for snow? Is the blessing for hail the same as the one for thunder? As the one for lightning?

If I understand correctly, oseh maaseh beresheet is for lighting, hurricane, tornado, (SA Mishneh Brurah 227:1, 4). For thunder, separate from lightening one says SheCocho UGevurato Maaleh Olam. We recently had very bad storms in Illinois. I had been raised that there is a prayer for hail but couldn't find it quickly enough and I was trying to comfort our Hebrew School kids. I did find Debbie Friedman's song, The Hail Blessing:

When the havens and the earth were finished,
God's creations sang on high
The heavens clapped, the mountains danced,
And tears fell from the sky.
The cold wind whistled furiously
And turned those tears to ice,
And snow and hail and crashing sounds
Started falling from the skies.
For the rumblings and crashing in the sky
For the mountains that dance with the heavens on high,
For the tears that fall and are touched
By the winds and by the cold,
We sing praises to the One of Being
Whose power and strength filss the world.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha'olam,
Shekocho u'g'vurato malei olam (2x)
Eish u'varad, sheleg v'kitor,
Ruach s'ara, osa d'varo.
Blessed is Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
whose power and might pervade the world.
Fire and hail, rain and vapor,
stormy wind, fulfilling God's word.

I'm trying to figure out what she based it on. A fun project to do with kids on the first snowy day is to have them write their own bracha for snow and to discuss the prayer yotzer or, which praises G-d who forms light and creates darkness.

  • 1
    M Joy Klein, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please take a look at our About and How to Ask pages and at other blessing questions to get a feel for how to best pose questions here. I recommend that your strengthen this question by editing in what you know about the thunder and lightning blessings and removing the final sentence, which seems to be asking for what someone has seen rather than for information about Judaism.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 4:13
  • @IsaacMoses Dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16854/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 4:28
  • @DoubleAA, I think not. An answer to that question could provide a method for determining an answer to this one, but needn't necessarily answer this one itself.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 4:30
  • 1
    M Joy Klein, let me echo Isaac's welcome to Mi Yodeya. I edited your post for formatting to make it easier to read. You also had an incomplete sentence at the end, so you might want to further edit to fix that up. Thanks. Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


There is no Bracha on snow since it is only waters that have frozen. (Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky Shlita)

Source: http://www.havabooks.co.il/article_ID.asp?id=1300

[ובס' 'הנותן שלג' (עמ' 194), נשאל הגר"ח קניבסקי: אמאי לא תיקנו ברכת הראיה או ברכת השבח על שלג, כשם שתיקנו על ברקים ורעמים, קשת וכיוצ"ב? והשיב: כי אינו אלא מים שנקרשו.]

  • 1
    What kind of reason is that? Wind is just air that is moving and rivers are just water that is flowing. And mountains are only a pile of dirt.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 14:24
  • 3
    @DoubleAA he is after all one of the gedolei hador. how can you just dismiss his words. i think he means it is essentially the same as rain. so it's not in a separate category
    – ray
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 15:55
  • 1
    @ray ...and a mountain is essentially dirt so it isn't in a separate category. You aren't helping. This answer has a serious lack of substance.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 16:55
  • 1
    Is Rabbi Kanievsky Shlita thinking of O Ch 228 (3). The Mechaber writes that we make the blessing only on mountains and plains in which the greatness of the Creator is evident. [This article](israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13585#.UopLNnC-2dl ) speaks about seas, rivers, mountains, hills, and deserts (Berachot 54a). “As a result of seeing such special landscapes, a person is open to reflect on creation, and recite a blessing of praise. Perhaps Rabbi Kanievsky means that snow does not normally cause one to be “open to reflect on creation” and necessitate a blessing. Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 17:39
  • 1
    @GershonGold T'hillim 147: הַנֹּתֵן שֶׁלֶג כַּצָּמֶר כְּפוֹר כָּאֵפֶר יְפַזֵּר. מַשְׁלִיךְ קַרְחוֹ כְפִתִּים לִפְנֵי קָרָתוֹ מִי יַעֲמֹד.
    – Fred
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 18:37

I have never heard of a blessing on either hail or snow. Neither are listed by the Shulchan Aruch OC in the 220's, and according to this answer, absence from that list may well preclude a phenomenon's having its own blessing. In any case, absence from that list is strongly indicative that these phenomena at least don't already have their own traditional blessings.

It looks like the song lyrics you quoted include both the thunder blessing that you mentioned and Tehilim 148:8. The latter is part of a psalm that discusses how all of creation praises God by doing His will. Both the thunder blessing and this verse are about weather phenomena, which are potent examples of creation doing God's will, since Man in all his might can't even accurately predict them, much less control them.

When we acknowledge that awesome weather phenomena are driven by all-powerful God, who cares about each of us, rather than blind, random forces (or capricious pagan "gods" for that matter), that should grant some comfort. Therefore, an excellent response to awesome natural phenomena of all types during Hebrew school would be to learn about the thunder blessing and to study this psalm, verse by verse. The latter exercise would put the weather phenomena into the context of the universe of other natural creations, big and small, that answer to God.


You must log in to answer this question.

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