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Suppose one has a chronic, ongoing illness with occasional flare-ups requiring hospitalization or other emergency intervention. After the immediate crisis caused by the flare-up is over, should one bentsch gomel?

On the one hand, it seems appropriate for the sick person to give thanks to Hashem for saving him or her from the immediate crisis. On the other hand, it seems odd to thank Hashem when the underlying problem persists and has not been resolved.

What is the halacha regarding whether to / when to bentsch gomel for a chronic illness?

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    Welcome guest_account. My Rov paskened that we should bentsch gomel only after the illness has been totally cured - even if this entails a long wait. Refuah Shleimah to whoever is unwell! – Avrohom Yitzchok Oct 19 '18 at 9:41
  • Welcome to MiYodeya. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Oct 19 '18 at 11:45
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    @AvrohomYitzchok Most chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, autoimmune diseases) are never cured, only managed. Nevertheless if a diabetic goes into insulin shock or a diabetic coma, is hospitalized, and then recovers, that seems worthy of bentsching gomel (even though he is still diabetic and will never be fully cured), doesn't it? – mweiss Oct 19 '18 at 18:45
  • @mweiss The cases which we asked of the Rov were not of the sort mentioned in your good comment. – Avrohom Yitzchok Oct 20 '18 at 20:25
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The Poskim (Orach Chaim 219:1, see Mishnah Berurah 219:1) write how one must completely leave the dangerous situation to recite HaGomel. There's much discussion regarding travelers with multiple stops and how it parallels sickness (see Birkei Yosef 219:3 and Maamar Mordechai 219:1, Kaf HaChayim 219:4-5, and Yabia Omer vol.1 Orach Chaim 13). In this case, the Chida (Machazik Beracha 219:5) writes how one may recite a Beracha on a chronic illness if it's completely gone in between, even if you know it'll be back. (Kaf HaChaim 219:43, 45)

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While my answer is not full, but I dealt with my mother Z"L being sick for 8 years:

  1. Do we find, that a mild "ongoing illness" or a "chronic decease" is considered an illness by the Sages? It seems that it is a modern definition, and the Sages didn't define it as an illness at all (maybe overall weakness etc).

  2. According to the Sages (I'm looking for an exact source), only lying in bed (ירד למשכב) and not being able to function is considered illness, as a sick person lying in bed is treated as one that is imprisoned or confined. But one who continues to function more or less normally even in pain or with supporting devices is not considered ill.

  3. Therefore, only a condition of falling ill is a reason for saying HaGomel. Therefore regardlessly of the chronic disease, one only bentshes Hagomel after being hospitalized or staying in bed otherwise.

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