In this weeks Parsha we see the reuniting of Yosef and Yaakov after 22 years of separation.
The pasuk says, (46:29,30) “Yosef harnessed his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he appeared to him, fell on his neck, and he wept on his neck excessively. Then Israel said to Yosef, I can die this time, after my having seen your face, because you are still alive.”
In Meseches Brachos( 58: ), as well as in the Tur Shulchan Aruch Siman 225 it says that if someone sees his friend after not seeing him for 30 days he should say a Shehechiyanu. If he hasn’t seen him for 12 months then he should say a “baruch michayei mesiim” because he is elated to see him after not seeing him for such a long time. All of these brachos should be said with shem and malchus as well.
If a person receives a letter from a friend who he has not seen for over a month, there are those Achronim who hold that a Shehechiyanu is required. The Mishna Brura paskins that safek brachos lihakel. By michayei meisim however, everyone agrees that a baruch michayei meisim is not said, if he had heard from him within the year.
The reason for this is written in the sefer chiddushei agados which says that the entire reason for why the bracha of michayei meisim is said is because every year people are judged between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to see whether or not they will live or die. Therefore if one does not see someone from one Y”K to the next then a aruch michayei meisim is definitely in order but if one hears from him then it is not in order because the din is understandable.( According to this if someone does not see his friend for even 10 days from before R”H to after Y”K of the same year he would have to say a baruch michayei meisim)
This din does not differ whether it is for a man or a woman. If one is elated to see his/her friend then a bracha is in order. A man however only makes this bracha on his wife, mother, sister, and daughter. If this is true then for a woman then it would follow a similar scale; husband, father, brother and son.
The Mishna Brura says that if someone goes over 12 months without seeing a friend then a “baruch michayei meisim is said and not a shehechiyanu”. If one sees a “Chacham mei chachei Yisroel” then one should say on him, “asher chalak mikivodo lireiav” in addition to a michayei meisim and a shehechiyanu if you hadn’t seen him within 30 days.
If someone had never seen his friend and their relationship is entirely dependent upon being a “penpal”. After seeing them for the first time a bracha is NOT said. This because your relationship is not dependant on a personal relationship. Only once they become accustomed with each other’s physical appearance only then is a bracha said.
The Pri Megadim says that if a someones wife gives birth while he is in midinas hayam then after seeing the child for the first time a shehechiyanu / baruch michayei hameisim is said because you are immediately elated to see your own child.
The Ben Ish Chai says that a person should never say one of these brachos with shem hashem or malchus and the Kaf HaChaim says, that if one is in such a town where they are not noheg to say this bracha then they should say shehechiyanu without shem hashem and malchus and should say “baruch michayei meisim in his heart. This same thing applies with a new kid who is born to a man in a place where they are not noheg to say the bracha. He should eat a new fruit and have the baby in mind when eating the fruit.