Bracha upon Seeing a Rainbow

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The following is the text for the Bracha upon seeing a rainbow: ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם זוכר הברית, נאמן בבריתו, וקיים במאמרו.

Rainbow.jpg
  1. Upon seeing a rainbow one should make a Bracha of Zocher HaBrit, (Ve)Neeman BeBrito, VeKayam BeMaamaro. [1]
  2. It’s forbidden to stare at the rainbow, rather one should look at it briefly and then make the Bracha. [2]
  3. One shouldn’t tell one’s friend about the rainbow even if one does it in order that one’s friend is able to make the Bracha as it’s similar to spreading bad news. Similarly, one shouldn’t make the Bracha loudly so that one’s friend hears it and recognizes the rainbow. [3]
  4. One can make this Bracha once a rainfall and not again until the rainbow has cleared up completely and then it rains again. [4]
  5. Some say that one must see the entire rainbow in order to make the Bracha. [5]


References

  1. S”A 229:1, Mishna Brurah 229:3 writes that the Tur and Rambam add a vav before Neeman and so holds Vezot HaBracha (pg 156).
  2. S"A 229:9, Mishna Brurah 229:5
  3. Mishna Brurah 229:1, BeYitzchak Yikra 229:1
  4. Mishna Brurah 229:2 writes that even within 30 days one can make the Bracha again upon seeing another rainbow similar to the laws of seeing lightning and hearing thunder where the original sight has ended. BeYitzchak Yikra 229:2 Rav Nevinsal writes that the number 30 used by the Mishna Brurah wasn’t specific since it’s possible to make the Bracha more than once in a day. [See Vezot HaBracha (pg 156, chapter 17) who quotes Mishna Brurah as saying that one can make another Bracha as long as one removed one’s mind from the rainbow. However, the language of Mishna Brurah implies that the rainbow must clear up before one can make another Bracha.]
  5. Biur Halacha 229:1 D”H HaRoeh writes that it’s unclear whether one can make the Bracha for seeing a part of the rainbow or only if one saw the entire semicircle crescent. Vezot HaBracha (pg 156, chapter 17) writes that Rav Elyashiv rules that if one saw the entire semicircle one can make the Bracha even if it’s missing a piece.