Is it permissible to recite Birkat Ha’gomel on Shiba Assar Be’Tammuz? If, for example, a person returned from a trip and must recite the Beracha, may he do so on the fast of Shiba Assar Be’Tammuz?
The reason why one might raise such a question is a ruling of the Kaf Ha’haim Sofer (Rav Yaakob Haim Sofer, Baghdad-Israel, 1870-1939) that one should not recite Birkat Ha’gomel on Tisha B’Ab morning. The morning of Tisha B’Ab marks the height of the intensity of the mourning for Temple’s destruction, and it is therefore not an appropriate occasion for reciting the festive Beracha of Birkat Ha’gomel, in which one gives thanks to the Almighty for rescuing him. The Kaf Ha’haim does, however, allow reciting Birkat Ha’gomel during Minha on Tisha B’Ab, when the intensity of the mourning begins to diminish, and we already begin speaking about consolation (“Nahamu Nahamu”).
Hacham Ovadia Yosef argues on this ruling, and maintains that one may recite Birkat Ha’gomel even in the morning of Tisha B’Ab. In his view, Birkat Ha’gomel is no different from the other standard Berachot recited as part of the prayer service, like Birkat Ha’shahar, which give praise to God, and there is no problem at all reciting Berachot on Tisha B’Ab. Hacham Ben Sion Abba Shaul (Israel, 1923-1998), in his work Or Le’sion, adds that it is permissible to recite Birkat Ha’gomel throughout the three weeks from Shiba Assar Be’Tammuz until Tisha B’Ab, without any restriction, and this is, indeed, the Halacha.
Summary: One who is obligated to recite Birkat Ha’gomel may recite the Beracha during the three weeks from Shiba Assar Be’Tammuz until Tisha B’Ab, even on the day of Tisha B’Ab.