O.C. 227:1 indicates saying בא"ה אמ"ה עושה מעשה בראשית on seeing זיקין (Mechaber describes this as a meteor; Mishnah Berurah surmises that this may be a comet.) The same blessing is suggested for seeing lightning.

Obviously (no pun, intended, here) this means if one sees these with a naked eye. What if one sees any of these via binoculars or through a telescope? Would he make the bracha, then?

I read this article. The author cites an article written by Rabbi J. David Bleich in Contemporary Halachic Problems v.1 (p.213-5) who discusses this question. I clicked the link which displays Google books, but most of the answer is not displayed. The rest of the authors article says that he asked his own (anonymous) rav who told him, you would make a bracha using binoculars; questionable if with a telescope.

That's all I was able to find. As the rav was not listed, and the author of the article is unknown, I'm wondering if there is a more reliable definitive answer to this question.

  • 1
    would this be the same for someone who wears glasses, or hears thunder by cupping his hand to his ear?
    – rosends
    Aug 10 '17 at 20:49
  • @rosends I made some edits since you posted your comment. It may assist in answering your question or forming an opinion in some way.
    – DanF
    Aug 10 '17 at 20:54
  • @rosends a refractive telescope would be just like glasses and a reflective telescope would be like seeing it in a mirror. There isn't much else to say about this
    – Double AA
    Aug 10 '17 at 20:56
  • 1
    relevant comment I found connected to seeing something on television: Yechave Daat 2:28 compares it to saying birkat halevana upon seeing the moon in the mirror, which we do not do based on the gemara in rosh hashana 24b and birkei yosef Choshen Mishpat 35:11. see also Sh"t Bitzel Hachochma 2:19, Beer Moshe 2:9 [ halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Brachot_on_Sights#cite_ref-19 ]
    – rosends
    Aug 10 '17 at 21:07
  • Possible duplicate of Bracha on seeing indirect light from lightning?
    – Ploni
    Aug 11 '17 at 8:23

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