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Chapter 61:4-6
Birkas Hagomel and Other Blessings

4. A person who goes to let blood, and similarly, someone who eats or drinks a medication or performs an activity as a remedy, should recite the following short prayer beforehand: May it be Your will, G-d, my Lord, and Lord of my fathers, that this serve as a cure, for You are a gratuitous Healer.

If the remedy which he must eat or drink requires a blessing (as explained in Chapter 50, Law 8), he should recite this prayer first and then the blessing (so that an interruption is not made between reciting the blessing and eating).

After letting blood, one should recite this blessing: Boruch Attoh A-d-o-n-o-i E-l-o-h-e-i-n-u Melech ho'olom rofey cholim. (Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe, the Healer of the sick.)*

* {The Pri Megodim suggests reciting this blessing without mentioning G-d's name and His sovereignty over the world. The later Halachic authorities accept this view.}

5. When a person sneezes, his colleagues should wish him: "To your health." He should answer: "G-d bless you." Afterwards, he should recite [Genesis 49:18]: "For Your salvation, I hope, O Lord." A person who prays for the welfare of a colleague receives an answer [for his own difficulties] first.

6. A person should not pray about things which have already taken place - e.g., a person who hears an outcry in the city should not say: "May it be G-d's will that this cry not be from my house" - also,a person whose wife is more than forty days pregnant should not pray: "May it be G-d's will that my wife give birth to a boy." These are vain prayers, for what has happened has already happened.

Within forty days of conception, one may pray that the offspring be of a specific sex. After forty days, one should pray that the child be healthy, "favorable to G-d and to the creations."

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