The blessing of “ha-Gomel”

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Note: The Mishnah states that one who “descends to the sea” or survives another life-threatening situation, should recite a special blessing of thanksgiving (see Artscroll siddur p. 444), known as ha-Gomel. This blessing is generally recited at the time of the public reading of the Torah.

Dear Rabbi Simon,
I had a medical emergency a few hours ago. Thank G-d I am now fine, but I’m away from home, in the proverbial “middle of nowhere” and don’t know if I can find a minyan. Under the circumstances, can someone please bentsch gomel [recite the thanksgiving blessing] for me?
Thank you

Dear Ted,
Wow, that is unsettling. Glad you are on an even keel now.
The blessing of ha-gomel is to be recited by the individual him/herself, rather than by another person on his or her behalf. Although it is ideal to recite the berachah within three days, you can wait up to 30 days to say it with a minyan. Otherwise, you can say the berachah on your own, even without a minyan. I would suggest waiting until your return home, as you will want to bentsh Gomel with respect to your transoceanic travel as well (even if your emergency medical diversion was more alarming, dramatic and scarier).
Safe travels.
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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