The Gemara says that four have to say Hagomel:

  1. One who went overseas
  2. One who went into a desert.
  3. One who was [deathly] ill.
  4. One who was in prison [on a capital crime].

To what level of danger must one be subjected to qualify for #3? For instance, anesthesia is a routine procedure that still carries a significant risk of not waking up. Would one who undergoes anesthesia need to bentch Gomel?

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  • giving birth is also a routine procedure which still carries significant risk so that might be parallel – Double AA Jun 19 '17 at 14:48
  • @DoubleAA In hachi nami. Doesn't one say gomel on giving birth (or at least her husband)? – DonielF Jun 19 '17 at 15:53
  • Some women do at least. I don't see what danger the husband experienced during labor that "at least" he should. More like "at least" she should, and in odd cases he should too. – Double AA Jun 19 '17 at 15:54
  • @DoubleAA (That's why I said "at least" instead of "or rather".) – DonielF Jun 19 '17 at 15:55
  • A bunch of other questions cover aspects of this very broad one. See judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/hagomel – msh210 Jun 19 '17 at 18:08

www.shut-halacha.co.il reports a Teshuva from Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl which says:

מי שעבר ניתוח בהרדמה כללית צריך לברך הגומל, כיון שהרדמה כללית הנה סכנה.

Someone who underwent surgery with a total anesthetic should say Hagomel since a total anesthetic is a danger.


Yeshiva.org's article on Birkas Hagomel distinguishes between the views of the Shulchan Oruch and the Rema. This is a short summary:

SA: someone who is so sick that he stays in bed for 3 days says Hagomel.

Rema: someone whose life has been in danger to the extent that the Shabbos could be desecrated for him, says Hagomel. This applies even where there has been the smallest risk of danger to life.

Rav Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 12:18) requires Hagomel for any operation however minor (e.g. surgery for the eye, fracture or hemorrhoids) because there are always possibilities of complications and danger. Operations with an anesthetic also require Hagomel.

Sefardim and some Ashkenazim follow the SA; most Ashkenazim follow the Rema.

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    @Ploni Well done for adding the links. Excuse my British spelling. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jun 19 '17 at 18:28

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