Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Shevet Hakehosi: House Arrest and Birchas HaGomel
A person who is released from prison makes a Birchas HaGomel.  What about if someone was placed under house arrest with an electronic monitoring system, would they make a Bracha after being released?

The Mogen Avrohom (219:1) says that the bracha is only made by someone who is jailed for issues pertaining to life and death and not issues pertaining to money.  This is because only in the first instance was he in danger of being killed.  The Shaarei Tshuva brings the Elya Rabba who says that being freed from jail, even if the prisoner was never in any danger of being killed, requires a Birchas HaGomel.  This is based on a Ri Migash who holds that the mere fact that his freedom was taken away and now returned requires a Birchas HaGomel.  The Biur Halacha adds that even according to those who hold that a prisoner makes a bracha upon leaving jail, regardless of the offense, this is only if he was jailed for an extended period and not a day or two.

The Pri Megadim paskens that since it is a Machlokes in a case where the prisoner’s life was never in danger, upon release he should make the bracha without “Shem U’Malchus”.   The Mishna Brura seems to paskens that he should make the bracha with Shem U’Malchus.  Based on this, the Shevet HaKehosi (5:41) says that if someone is released from house arrest, all opinions would hold that he should make the bracha without Shem U’Malchus.

He adds that if someone is released from jail in order to remain under house arrest he should not make the Bracha until he is completely free.  Similarly he brings an Aruch HaShulchan (OC 219:5) who says that if someone is freed from jail on bail he should not say the bracha until he is completely freed of the charges.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.