I'm traveling to Israel soon, and we're going to visit many things including Yerushalaim and the Kotel. Are there special Berachot for arriving in Israel, going to the Old City or visiting the Western Wall? I think I once stumbled across this in the Masechet Berachot.

  • Try looking into ברוך מציב גבול אלמנה which can be said on "Built up Jewish homes like at the time of the second Temple" (FWIW there are more Jews in Israel now than at the time of the second Temple, and they are of course living in technologically superior and objectively fancier homes).
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 21:34
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    Relevant: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16249/…
    – Moshe
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 23:03
  • Not an answer per se, but what I did when I first went was a recitation of certain of the Shirei haMa'alot. For example, when I first saw the coast, I recited ps. 126 בשוב ה׳ את שיבת ציון. When I first went to enter the Old City, I recited ps. 122 שמחתי ואומרים לי. When visiting the Kotel, I recited all of the Shirei haMa'alot (Barchi Nafshi in Shabbat Minchah without ps. 104(. Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 23:41
  • I believe there is one for seeing the "big sea" (the Mediterranean).
    – Gabriel12
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the comments above the bracha of "Barukh Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melekh Haolam Sheasa et Hayam Hagadol" when seeing the ocean for the first time in 30 days is relevant.

In addition highly relevant to your visit to the Old City (or the Mount of Olives) is the practice of kria (tearing your clothes) over the Temple Mount. See R Ari Enkin's very nice discussion with many sources or here as well.

But please CYLOR as to what should be your actual practice.

Also be sure to follow @Moshe advice and read this very nice list of halachot for an American traveler to Israel.

PS. Brakhot 58b is where you might have seen this the first time but there is a question how this applies in modern times. I asked a Rav from Kollel Ponevezh in Bnei Brak who said the minhag on many of these less usual brachot is not to say them, following the Mishna Brura. See here for more discussion (HT @DoubleAA for the reference)

  • 1
    Note that most people's visits to the Old City do not involve seeing the Temple Mount. You have to get on particular roofs or nearby hilltops to have to deal with that issue. (Some tear upon seeing Yerushalayim too, but I'm not sure if they distinguish between the Old City walls and the rest of it. IAE you didn't mention that custom.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 5:09
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    Note if the person is coming from a city on the ocean, eg. Los Angeles or New York City, then the Mediterranean Sea may not require a new blessing (see judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14355/759)
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 14:57

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