getting it backwards

There are many types of people who need to say the berachah "haGomel" after they have been in serious danger. The Shulchan Aruch (R' Yosef Karo) lists 4 types of people who need to say this berachah. (which he gets from the Gemara discussing this berachah)
  1. Someone who is travelling in the desert
  2. Someone who crosses the sea
  3. Someone who falls sick and is healed
  4. Someone who falls captive/prisoner and is released
The Ben Ish Hai asks, why if there are many other kinds of people that also should say haGomel, why did the Gemara choose to list these four? He explains that each of these four types of people might mistakenly chalk up their survival to forces other than HaShem:
  1. One who travels in the desert brings guards and goes in a caravan, he may think the caravan kept him safe.
  2. One who crosses the sea may think he picked a very seaworthy vessel, captain, and crew.
  3. One who is healed might think the doctors and medicine had something to do with it.
  4. One who is redeemed from prison might think the negotiations, bribes, and diplomacy played a large part in his newfound freedom.
No. They all must say the berachah to acknowledge that their continued existence is solely the result of HaShem's kindness.

In our day and age, there are many people who tend to say that because of technology and science there are many things that no longer bear with them the same risks that they used to. According to what the Ben Ish Hai is saying, it seems like when one thinks like this they are missing the real point. They are falling into the precise trap for which the berachah was originally intended. Just because we have cars, planes, medication, GPS, firearms, an understanding of hygiene, etc we cannot forget that in every situation it is HaShem (and ONLY HaShem) that saves and supports us, heals and defends us.


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