Bracha for Good or Bad News
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Revision as of 00:02, 19 October 2011 by ChachamY
- For hearing good news from a reliable source which is good for oneself and for others one should make the Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv. However, for hearing good new which is only good for oneself, one should make Shehechiyanu. 
- Nowadays, we minimize the amount of times these Brachot are said. In cases where Halacha certainly obligates a Bracha, if one does make the Bracha even if it’s not the minhag, one has done properly. 
Bracha upon having a baby
- According to most ashkenazic authorities, if the father hears or sees that his wife had a baby boy both the father and mother should make a Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv. The Sephardic minhag is not to make HaTov VeHaMeitiv but rather to make Shechiyanu at the Brit Milah. 
- If one's wife had a baby girl both the father and mother should make the bracha of Shechiyanu. 
Bracha on Rain
- Chazal established a Bracha for when there’s a drought in Israel that caused pain or difficulty and then there was enough rain that the water droplets in the puddles splash, one drop towards another drop. Minhag is not to make this Bracha outside Israel. The lashon of the Bracha is found in the Siddur starting with the words “Modim Anachnu Lach…” if you don’t have a field, however if you have a field (that’s 15 square Amot) the Bracha is Shehechiyanu. 
- For hearing bad news one should make Dayan Emet. This Bracha should be made with the full intent and accepting soul just like one is happy for good news. 
- A great loss of money which causes one pain can warrant Dayan HaEmet. 
- Besides the halacha, it’s also the minhag to make Dayan HaEmet upon hearing the passing of a relative which one is obligated to mourn. 
- S”A 222:1
- Mishna Brurah 222:1
- Piskei Teshuvot 222:1
- S”A 223:1 rules that a father who hears that his wife had a baby boy should make HaTov MeHaMeitiv. Mishna Brurah 223:1 implies that this is true whether the father saw the birth or only heard about it. Most poskim quote this halacha as in Shulchan Aruch including Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:9, and Chaye Adam 62:1. However, Aruch HaShulchan 223:2 writes that because the Rambam and Rif didn't quote this halacha perhaps they don't hold of it and so he defends the minhag not to say it.
- Chazon Ovadyah (Brachot pg 388) quotes the Chesed LeAlafim that the minhag is not to make the HaTov VeHaMeitiv at the time of the birth but to have the schechiyanu at the brit milah cover the whole occasion. Kaf Hachaim 223:6 agrees. However, Brachot Shir VeHaShevach pg 475-6 and Birkat Hashem (Rav Moshe HaLevi, vol 4, 2:61 argue that one should hold like Shulchan Aruch and make the Bracha.
- Mishna Brurah 223:2. See also Piskei Teshuvot 223:1 .
- S”A 221:1 codifies this Bracha for when it rains after a drought. The Rama 221:1 writes that nowadays this Bracha isn’t made for lands outside Israel where there’s usually a lot of rain. Buir Halacha D”H Mevarchim explains that S”A holds that if the rain drops splash at one another that’s enough rain to make the Bracha. Piskei Teshuvot 221 specifies that it must be a field of 15 square Amot. [Personally, I (Ike Sultan) heard the Rosh Yeshiva of Shaalvim (Rav Yacovson) in the winter of 5771 make this Bracha out loud before the entire Bet Midrash after there wasn’t rain into Kislev.] See Piskei Teshuvot (Siman 221 note 3) who writes that he has never heard anyone ever make this Bracha and so one shouldn’t make it with Shem UMalchut. Birkat Hashem who writes that the minhag is not to make this Bracha nowadays.
- S”A 222:2
- Biur Halacha D”H Dayan HeEmet
- Mishna Brurah 223:8, Piskei Teshuvot 222:2