ARCHIVES: HILCHOS BIRCHAS SHEHECHIYANU
BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8 2009
1) The text of the Bracha is as follows: “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech H’Olam SheHechiyanu V’KiyManu V’HigiYanu Lazman HaZeh- Blessed are You Hashem, Master of the world, for allowing us to live, sustaining us, and allowing us to reach this time (or season)”
This Bracha is recited as praise to Hashem whenever we experience a Simcha (happiness) which we haven’t experienced in a while. We shall now begin discussing the details of this wonderful Bracha and see when and how it should be recited.
One who eats a new fruit (We shall B’Ezras Hashem discuss the definition of “new” in the near future), must give praise to Hashem and recite the Bracha of “SheHechiyanu” in addition to the regular Bracha required before eating fruits.
This Halacha applies equally to men and women (See Chochmas Shlomo Siman 226 and in his Sefer H’Elef Lecha Shlomo Siman 193 where he discusses why this isn’t considered a Mitzvas Asei SheHazman Grama)
2) It is a Mitzvah for a person to seek out and eat new fruits in order to be able to offer praise and thanks to Hashem and to show that we appreciate all the wonderful things that Hashem creates for us to enjoy in this world. (See Mishna Berura Siman 225:19 where he references a Talmud Yerushalmi very end of Maseches Kidushin where it says:
“[When a person will stand in judgment before Hashem after he/she leaves this world] they will have to give a Din V’Cheshbon (reckoning) for anything (i.e. food that Hashem created) that they had the opportunity to taste, yet didn’t taste!”
The Korban H’Eida in his commentary to this Gemara explains that it is referring to not reciting SheHechiyanu on every possible fruit)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9 2009
1)The Bracha of “SheHechiyanu” is not an obligation (Chova) rather it is a voluntary Bracha. (Reshus) (See Mishna Berura 223:7)
However, it is extremely praiseworthy to be careful and not treat this Bracha lightly (See Mishna Berura Siman 225:9. see also Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 5 Siman 43:5)
Indeed Klal Yisroel have accepted upon themselves to recite this Bracha and treat it as an obligatory Bracha, and are very careful to recite it whenever the opportunity arises. (See Aruch HaShulchan 225:1. See also Shu”t Yosef Ometz from the Chida Siman 56 and Kaf HaChaim 225:22. This is similar to Tefilas Maariv which was initially a Reshus, but since Klal Yisroel accepted it upon themselves to do, it now has the status of a Chova)
2) Some Poskim rule that the Bracha of SheHechiyanu is only recited on fruits that one actually has happiness from eating. (Based on the reasoning of the Mishna Berura 223:13. See Shu”t Chasam Sofer Siman 55, Ta’amei HaMinhagim Brachos S”K211 in the footnote. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 4 Siman 25 who rules this way and therefore writes that only on the Shivas Haminim should SheHechiyanu be recited. See also Shu”t Mishne Halachos Vol. 6 Siman 43.)
Other Poskim maintain that as long as the fruit is enjoyed, even if it doesn’t bring any special happiness, the SheHechiyanu is recited when eating it for the first time that season. (Psak of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal, quoted in Sefer V’Alehu Lo Yibol page 123, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv shlita, quoted in V’Zos Habracha Perek 18, Rav Nisim Karelitz shlita, quoted in Sefer Brachos K’Hilchasan page 102)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 2009
1) Originally, the Bracha of SheHechiyanu was supposed to be recited upon first “seeing” the new fruit, as one has feelings of Simcha immediately upon spotting the fruit that hasn’t been around for such a long period of time.
Even if the fruit is in someone else’s hand or even still on the tree, it would still be the ideal time to recite the Bracha. (See Mishna Berura 225:10)
Even one who sees it on a tree on Shabbos would be allowed to recite the Bracha, as the Simcha is in seeing it and we do not worry that he may come to cut it off on Shabbos in order to eat it. (See Biur Halacha Siman 225 Dibur Hamaschil “O Al HaIlan”. See also Shu”t Be’er Moshe Vol. 3 Siman 43)
2) However, the prevalent minhag is to not recite the SheHechiyanu upon seeing it and rather to wait until actually eating the fruit.
The reason that this custom evolved was due to the fact that many people do not experience feelings of Simcha simply by seeing a fruit and only develop those feelings by eating it, so it was agreed upon to change the time of the Bracha to when it is being eaten (See Mishna Berura Siman 225:11 and 13. See Aruch HaShulchan 225:7 and Kaf HaChaim 225:28 for another reason. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 34)
If one goes ahead and does recite the Bracha upon seeing the fruit, since that was the original and more correct method, it is acceptable L’Chatchilah. (Rama 225:3. Thus, if one recited a SheHechiyanu and then for some reason did not eat the fruit, he was Yotzei on seeing it and no new Bracha is required.)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 2009
1)There is a debate amongst the Poskim as to the ideal time to insert the Bracha of SheHechiyanu when eating a new fruit.
Many Poskim rule to recite “Borei Pri Ha’Eitz” first and immediately follow that with “SheHechiyanu”, and we don’t consider the SheHechiyanu as an interruption between the Bracha on the fruit and the eating. (Shu”t Radvaz Siman297, Kaf HaChaim 225:24. This was also the ruling of the Gaon of Vilna, quoted in Tosefos Ma’aseh Rav 75:3. This was also the ruling of the Chazon Ish, Avnei Nezer and others)
Other Poskim say to first recite the “SheHechiyanu” and only then recite the “Borei Pri Ha’Eitz” , so as there be no interruption between the “Ha’Eitz” and the eating of the food.
Alternatively, these Poskim say to recite “Ha’Eitz”, take a small bite of the fruit, and only then recite “SheHechiyanu” and finish the fruit. (Psak of the Mishna Berura 225:11. This was also the ruling of the Chayei Adam and Pri Megadim, quoted in Sha’ar HaTzion 225:12, the Aruch HaShulchan 225:5, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:14. This was also the Minhag of the Chasam Sofer. See also Shu”t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 2 Siman 4:33 where he answers an apparent contradiction in the Mishna Berura regarding this. See also Halichos Shlomo Perek 3:13)
2) However, according to all opinions, if the SheHechiyanu was recited between the Ha’Eitz and the eating of the fruit, it is acceptable and no new Bracha needs to be recited. (Mishna Berura ibid.)
Being that all of the above methods are halachically acceptable, each person should do as is his/her custom. (See Likutei MaHarich towards the end of Hilchos Birchas SheHechiyanu, page 274 in the new print)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12 2009
1) If one has two new fruits, only one Bracha of “SheHechiyanu” is recited which will exempt both the fruits. (Mishna Berura Siman 225:14 and Sha’ar HaTzion 225:16)
Even if one of the fruits will not be eaten now and will be saved for a future time, still only one SheHechiyanu is recited for both. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 225:18. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 87)
Similarly, if one has a new fruit and a new article of clothing which requires a SheHechiyanu (details of which we will B’Ezras Hashem learn in the near future), only one Bracha is recited to exempt both the fruit and the clothing. (See Shu”t Ksav Sofer Siman 26. He writes over there that one should not combine a SheHechiyanu on a Mitzvah and a SheHechiyanu on a new fruit, and should rather make 2 separate Brachos, unless of course there is a Safek on one of them. See also Shu”t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 1 Siman 21 and Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 4 Siman 25)
2) The new fruit must be in front of the person at the time that the SheHechiyanu is recited.
Thus, if one recited a SheHechiyanu on one fruit, even if he/she specifically had in mind to exempt another new fruit that wasn’t in front of him/her, it will not work, and a separate SheHechiyanu will be required on the second fruit before it is eaten.
This is true even if the first fruit is still in front of the person and is not yet totally consumed. (See Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 63:10 and Aishel Avraham (Butshatsh) 225:1)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 13 2009
(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) One who began eating a new fruit and forgot to recite SheHechiyanu, may say the Bracha as long as the fruit was not finished and he/she is still in the process of eating it. (See Shu”t Ksav Sofer Siman 25 and Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 63:9)
Some Poskim go so far as to allow the SheHechiyanu to be recited even after the fruit was totally consumed, as long as the Bracha Achrona was not yet recited and one’s mind was still on the fruit. (See Shu”t Avnei Yashfe Vol. 2 Siman 17)
2) Once the fruit was finished (and Bracha Achrona recited, according to those Poskim) and the SheHechiyanu was omitted, it is no longer possible to recite SheHechiyanu on this type of fruit for the rest of the season. (Mishna Berura Siman 225:13)
However, if possible, before eating this type of fruit again, it is proper to recite a SheHechiyanu on a different fruit and exempt this fruit as well.
If no other fruit is available, a SheHechiyanu may be recited without Shem U’Malchus (saying the Bracha without Hashem’s name) (see Ben Ish Chai Parshas Re’ay Siman 14 and 15. See also Sha’ar HaTzion 225:18. See also Kaf HaChaim 225:31 that another option is to “think” the Bracha in your head without saying the words (Hirhur). The above 3 options can be used any time there is a safek if Shehechiyanu needs to be recited.)
HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH
The Bracha of SheHechiyanu is recited both for fruits that grow on trees as well as for vegetables that grow from the ground.
However, only certain vegetables are considered Chashuv (significant) enough to require a SheHechiyanu. (We shall discuss this in more in detail in the near future B’Ezras Hashem) (See first Biur Halacha in Siman 225)
SheHechiyanu is recited both on fruits that are eaten raw as well as for those that require cooking. (Birkei Yosef Siman 225:4, Da’as Torah Siman 67 and Kaf HaChaim 225:17. However, some Poskim maintain that on cooked fruits, you may not recite SheHechiyanu)
2) There is no minimum requirement to be eaten in order for SheHechiyanu to be required; even on a small taste the Bracha is recited. (Biur Halacha ibid. and Kaf HaChaim 225:32)
However, ideally a Kzayis should be eaten in order to recite the SheHechiyanu in a respectable manner (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 272)
If only a seed of a new fruit or its peel is eaten no SheHechiyanu is recited. (See Kaf HaChaim 225:32. See also Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 63:4 where he writes that according to the Shulchan Aruch HaRav a SheHechiyanu would indeed be recited on a seed of a fruit)
Likewise, one who drinks the juice of a new fruit, or eats the fruit after it has been crushed, does not recite SheHechiyanu.
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 2009
1)Many fruits on the market today are the product of grafting two fruit trees to produce a new variety of fruit. (Such as many pears on the market today which are grafted with quince)
The Torah prohibits grafting two varieties of trees, though the product of the grafting is permissible to eat (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 295 for details of this prohibition)
There is a debate amongst the Poskim if a grafted fruit, when eaten for the first time [in a season] requires SheHechiyanu, or perhaps we say that a fruit that was produced against Hashem’s wishes is not worthy of being the thing which is used to thank Hashem for new fruit.
If the fruit was grafted in a permissible manner (two trees in the same family of fruit, or a fruit that was grown on a tree that was re-planted from a grafted tree which is permissible, or according to some authorities, if the grafting was done by a non Jew) a SheHechiyanu is recited when eating it according to all opinions. (See Shu”t Yabia Omer Vol. 5 Siman 19, Shu”t Halachos Ketanos Vol. 1 Siman 60 and Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 58)
2) If the fruit was grafted in a prohibited manner, many Poskim indeed rule that no SheHechiyanu may be recited. (See Be’er Heitev Siman 225:7, Kaf HaChaim 225:26, Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:18)
Other Poskim maintain that regardless of how the fruit came to be, a SheHechiyanu is recited (one of their arguments is that just as a Borei Pri Ha’aitz must be recited despite the fact that Hashem’s command was violated in its creation, so too a SheHechiyanu) (See Biur Halacha Siman 225 Dibur Hamaschil Pri quoting the Ya’avetz and Sdei Chemed Brachos S”K 7. See also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 192 where he differentiates as to the purpose of the grafting in the first place; if it was done to enhance the taste, no SheHechiyanu is recited but if it was done to strengthen the tree, a SheHechiyanu may be recited)
Therefore, due to the rule of Safek Brachos L’Hakel (whenever we have a question if a Bracha needs to be recited, we rule not to recite it lest Hashem’s name be said in vain Chas V’Shalom) no SheHechiyanu is recited on such a fruit.
If another fruit is available on which a SheHechiyanu is surely recited, it should be recited on that fruit and the disputed fruit should be exempted with that Bracha.
If one isn’t sure, there is no reason to assume or worry that the fruits are grafted in a prohibited manner, and SheHechiyanu can be recited. (Igros Moshe ibid., Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 3 Siman 25 and Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 142 and Vol. 3 Siman 76:5)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16 2009
1)The Bracha of SheHechiyanu is not dependant on the Bracha on the fruit being said.
Thus, if one is eating the new fruit in the middle of a meal as part of the meal, in such a way that the fruit would not require its own Bracha and be exempted by the bread, it would still require SheHechiyanu be said when eating it. (Pri Megadim, Mishbetzos Zahav, Siman 583:3. See also Shu”t Avnei Yashfe Vol. 1 Siman 48, quoting Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita.)
2) However, if the new fruit is being eaten as Tafel (subordinate) to another food which is the Ikar, according to many Poskim we indeed would not recite SheHechiyanu on it, as its status as a Tafel minimizes the Simcha we get from eating it. (See Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 63:11, Shu”t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 1 Siman 141 and Sefer V’Zos HaBracha Perek 18 quoting Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita.)
Other Poskim disagree, and maintain that even if the fruit is being eaten as a Tafel, a SheHechiyanu may still be recited when eating it. (Da’as Torah Siman 63, Shu”t Ksav Sofer Siman 25. Shu”t Avnei Yashfe ibid. This is also the ruling of Rav Shmuel Wosner shlita.)
Ideally, in order to prevent this Safek, it is best to eat a little of the fruit by itself first and recite the SheHechiyanu, and only then combine it with the other food and allow it to take on the status of a Tafel. (Shu”t Shevet HaKehasi Vol. 3 siman 76)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 2009
1) There are certain fruits which have different varieties which are closely related to one another, yet are considered different species, such as different kinds of plums.(Some are round, some oval etc.)
If SheHechiyanu was recited on one of these varieties, no other SheHechiyanu should be recited on a different variety, unless it has a different taste [and according to some Poskim, a different name]. (See Mishna Berura Siman 225:14 and Kaf HaChaim 225:35-37)
Simply being different colors, won’t be enough to consider them separate species. (See Sha’ar HaTzion 225:17. Although, according to some Poskim, as long as there is a new Simcha with a new color of the same fruit, they will indeed allow a new SheHechiyanu. See Shu”t Shvus Yaakov Vol. 2 Siman 37 and Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 9 Siman 24)
Some Poskim only allow one SheHechiyanu per similar species, and not on each variety of the species, even if it has a different name, taste and shape. (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 225:9, Da’as Torah Siman 63, Shu”t Halachos Ketanos Siman 231 and Or L’tzion Perek 14 Siman 46)
2) The above only applies to two similar species of fruit which have differences and are considered two fruits, and not to one fruit which has different varieties (e.g. Oranges, clementines and tangerines are considered one fruit) where according to everyone, no separate SheHechiyanu is recited on each of them. (Sefer Birchas HaShir V’Hashevach 2)
Likewise, two totally different fruits, which have different looks, names and tastes, even if they are considered of the same variety (such as all citrus fruits) will require separate SheHechiyanu on each. (See Orchos Rabbeinu in the Hosafos, quoting the Chazon Ish. See also Sefer Or L’tzion Perek 14:46)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 2009
1) One who eats new grapes and recites SheHechiyanu, and then drinks new wine, does not recite a separate SheHechiyanu on the wine, as wine and grapes are considered one fruit, and no new Simcha is experienced on the wine after it was already experienced with the grapes. (See Mishna Berura Siman 225:15. There are some Poskim who disagree with this and do indeed require a new SheHechiyanu on wine. They are The Radvaz Vol. 3 Siman 53, and Shu”t Halachos Ketanos Vol. 1 Siman 232. However, the prevalent custom is like the Mishna Berura, especially nowadays when we are not expert in wines to determine which wines are new enough and which are aged beyond being able to recite Shehechiyanu on them. See Aruch HaShulchan 225:10)
2) Some Poskim rule that wine [especially nowadays] never receives a SheHechiyanu in any case. (See Aruch HaShulchan ibid.)
However, due to the Safek it is best not to drink new wine before eating new grapes and thus exempting the wine from needing a SheHechiyanu regardless (Kaf HaChaim 225:39)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19 2009
1) SheHechiyanu is only recited on fruits that are “new”, and thus their rebirth each season causes Simcha when they are eaten for the first time.
If a fruit has a rebirth twice a year, SheHechiyanu is recited twice a year, each time of its new growth season. (Mishna Berura Siman 225:17, Aruch HaShulchan 225:11. The Kaf HaChaim 225:42 disagrees and maintains that only once a year is SheHechiyanu recited on any fruit. Preferably it should be the first time in that year that it grew.)
A fruit which does not have a certain season, and grows throughout the year, or a fruit which is preserved or frozen so that it can be available throughout the year, does not get a SheHechiyanu, even if this particular fruit was not eaten by an individual in a long time, as since they are always available, there is no evident Simcha when eating them. (See Mishna Berura 225:16. See also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 201)
Fruits that are grown year-round in greenhouses with controlled climate, even though the normal growth time of this species when they grow normally is limited to a certain season, do not get a SheHechiyanu, as they aren’t considered new fruits.(Mishna Berura 225:18)
2) A fruit that grows in certain areas year-round, and yet only seasonally in another location, is a subject of debate amongst the Poskim if a SheHechiyanu can be recited on it in the location where it isn’t always available. (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 151 and Vol. 1 Siman205)
All agree that if it is available for purchase year-round in all locations, no SheHechiyanu should be recited.
Some common examples of such foods which are available always and thus never get a SheHechiyanu are: carrots, potatoes, radishes, squash and similar vegetables; apples, pears, grapes and similar fruits; almonds, walnuts and similar nuts; bread, fish, meat etc. (The Rama 225:6 rules that vegetables never get a SheHechiyanu. See Mishna Berura 225:18. See also Shl”a Hakadosh in Shar Ha’Osiyos Shaar 12 where he writes a different reason:, that vegetables that get picked this year may have been in the ground since last year, and thus can no longer say SheHechiyanu on them. )
Obviously, the above are only a small sampling of common foods that are available nowadays all year round, and each person must determine what is considered “new” in his/her area.
Each time any new fruit or food is about to be eaten, before reciting SheHechiyanu, it must first be determined that a) the fruit grows only once or twice a year b) the fruit is not available in the market all year round.
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 20 2009
(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) One who builds, or purchases, a home should recite the Bracha of SheHechiyanu to thank Hashem for the wonderful Simcha that is experienced at this occasion.(Shulchan Aruch Siman 223:3 and Mishna Berura S”K11. Some people have the custom not to recite SheHechiyanu on a new home, See Kaf HaChaim Siman 223:17. In Shu”t L’Horos Nosson Vol. 2 Siman 12, Rav Nosson Gestetner shlita writes that only in Chutz L’Aretz is there such a custom, but in Eretz Yisroel, everyone agrees to indeed recite it on a new home)
Likewise, one who purchases new utensils or new clothing should recite SheHechiyanu on this Simcha that Hashem has provided for him/her. (Shulchan Aruch ibid. and Mishna Berura S”K 13)
Some Poskim rule that when purchasing a new car, SheHechiyanu should be recited. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 80)
2) When purchasing new clothing, some people also have the custom to recite an additional Bracha of “Baruch Ata Hashem…Malbish Arumim”, thanking Hashem for providing clothing for the unclothed, in addition to the SheHechiyanu. (See Mishna Berura 223:18 that this would be recited before the SheHechiyanu. However, he writes there that if this article of clothing is being worn for the first time in the morning, it can be had in mind and exempted with the “Malbish Arumim” that is recited as part of Birchas HaShachar. Thus, it is best to indeed try and wear a new article of clothing in the morning so as not to necessitate this additional Bracha. See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 59:8)
HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH
1) If one has a partner in the purchase of any new item, no SheHechiyanu is recited, rather the Bracha of “HaTov V’HaMeitiv” (Hashem is “Tov Li”, good to me, and “Meitiv L’Acheirim”, is also good to others) is recited. (See Mishna Berura 223:19 and 21)
Thus, when purchasing a home or utensils that will be used by the entire family, HaTov V’HaMeiti v would be said [by each of the family members] instead of SheHechiyanu. (See Biur Halacha 223:3 Dibur Hamaschil Banah Bayis. See also Mishna Berura Siman 221:4 where he rules that family members are considered like partners.)
2) Likewise, if a group of people got together and built a new Shul, they should all recite the Bracha of “HaTov V’HaMeitiv” when the Shul is being used for the first time (Some say that one person should recite it and exempt the entire congregation). (See Mishna Berura 223:11)
Alternatively, some people have the custom to take a new fruit or article of clothing and recite SheHechiyanu, and have in mind that the Bracha should also go on the new Shul. (See Kaf HaChaim 223:15. See also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 145 and Shu”t Chasam Sofer Siman 156)
HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22 2009
1) One who receives clothing, utensils or a home as a gift should also recite the SheHechiyanu. (See Mishna Berura 223:21 where he rules not like the Shulchan Aruch who says that for gifts the Bracha would be “HaTov V’HaMeitiv”. See also Kaf HaChaim 223:33 where he rules to say both, SheHechiyanu, and also say HaTov V’Hameitiv without Shem U’Malchus)
If a husband/groom buys his wife/bride a gift, he should recite SheHechiyanu when purchasing it as he derives pleasure from being able to give this gift. The wife/bride should recite “HaTov V’Hameitiv” when she receives the gift. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Even HaEzer Vol. 4 Siman 84)
2) There are those who have the custom not to recite SheHechiyanu on new utensils, and maintain that only on clothing is SheHechiyanu recited. (See Ben Ish Chai Parshas Re’Ay Siman 65 and Kaf HaChaim 223:20. Some Poskim say to recite it without Shem u’Malchus. See also Shu”t Be’er Moshe vol. 5 Siman 65. See also Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 64:4 where he quotes the Shulchan Aruch HaRav that no Bracha is recited on a new home either)
HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 2009
1)The SheHechiyanu on a new home, clothing or utensil should ideally be recited at the time of their purchase, even though no happiness was yet gotten from them, as taking ownership is in it of itself a Simcha. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 223:4. However, see Kaf HaChaim 223:30 who rules that ideally it should be recited at the time of the first use, similar to the custom to recite SheHechiyanu on a new fruit before eating it.)
It should be recited as soon as possible after the purchasing, as the happiness is strong then. The longer one waits, the more used to the new item the person becomes and the happiness starts to ebb. (See Mishna Berura 223:15. See also Kaf HaChaim 223:31 and Shu”t Mishne Halachos Vol. 6 Siman 42)
2) However, SheHechiyanu can only be recited at the time of the purchase if the item is ready to be used in its current state.
Thus, clothing that need mending or tailoring or were not checked for Sha’atnez, a home that does not yet have mezuzos, [or, according to some opinions, even if it is not yet furnished], utensils that were not yet Toveled in a Mikvah, are not ready for SheHechiyanu to be recited on them, and the Bracha needs to be postponed until they are ready for use. (See Mishna Berura Siman 223:17)
If SheHechiyanu was not recited at the time of purchase (due to their not being ready to use, or for any other reason) the Bracha should be recited at the time of its first use, when the Simcha intensifies. (See Mishna Berura and Kaf HaChaim ibid.)
HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 2009
1)The Bracha of SheHechiyanu is not limited to the first time that such an article of clothing or new utensil was purchased.
Even if one already owns other such clothing or utensils, the SheHechiyanu is recited on the additional purchase. (Mishna Berura Siman 223:14)
Moreover, even the items that were purchased are “second- hand” or otherwise not new, the Bracha of SheHechiyanu can still be recited, as to the new owner they are considered “new”, and Simcha is experienced upon acquiring them. (Mishna Berura ibid.)
However, if one once owned the item and sold it and now re-purchases it, no SheHechiyanu is recited on reacquiring it. (Mishna Berura ibid and S”K 16. This is true even if the item in question was not used at all when it was owned the first time around. See Kaf HaChaim 223:24)
2) One who purchases a home, clothing or utensil for business purposes or in order to lease or rent it out, and not use it personally, no SheHechiyanu is recited. (Sefer Birchas HaBayis Siman 324:36)
A house that was destroyed or demolished and rebuilt, if it was rebuilt with an additional room, higher, wider or bigger, a SheHechiyanu is recited as the addition brings additional Simcha. If, however, it was simply rebuilt as it was originally, no SheHechiyanu is recited. (Mishna Berura Siman 223:12)
If an addition was made to an existing home, if it causes Simcha, according to many Poskim a SheHechiyanu can be recited. Others say to say SheHechiyanu on a new fruit or article of clothing and have in mind to exempt the addition. (See Ben Ish Chai Parshas Re’Ay Siman 67. See also Shu” t B’Tzel HaChachma Vol. 4 Siman 49 and Kaf HaChaim 223:16)
HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25 2009
1)The Bracha of SheHechiyanu is only recited when there is intrinsic Simcha in owning the new item.
Thus, it is only recited on clothing and utensils that are expensive or Chashuv (significant), such as a new Tallis, which is considered Chashuv, even if it isn’t expensive.
(Regarding Tzitzis, it would depend on the individual if he feels it’s a significant purchase. See Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 80 and Ben Ish Chai Parshas Breishis Siman 67)
Nowadays when, due to the endless kindness of Hashem, we have such an abundance of clothing, accessories and utensils, according to many Poskim, SheHechiyanu is hardly ever recited, even on items that used to bring Simcha, unless the item that is bought is very significant, such as a car, a wedding gown, a Tallis etc. which even today brings to Simcha. (See Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:15)
2) Commonplace, regular every day clothing and utensils do not bring special Simcha and thus no SheHechiyanu is recited upon acquiring them. (Mishna Berura 223:22)
Even if one is of lesser financial means, and he/she indeed experiences Simcha upon acquiring common clothing, still, according to the Ashkenazic custom, no SheHechiyanu is recited, as the importance of the clothing is determined based on the general population, and not on each individual. (The reason for this is that in the text of the Bracha we say “V’Higiyanu L’Zman HaZeh” thanking Hashem for helping us reach this time, which is a proclamation about something which mankind experiences only from time to time, and not on something that is commonplace to most of society. See Rama Siman 223:6 and Mishna Berura S”K 23 and 24)
Sephardic Jews and even some Ashkenazic Poskim, however, maintain that it is dependent on the individual, and if he/she experiences Simcha from a simple article of clothing or utensil, then indeed SheHechiyanu should be recited. (Shulchan Aruch 223:6 and Shu”t Radvaz Vol. 1 Siman 395. In Sefer V’Zos HaBracha page 167 he quotes Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg shlita as concurring with this opinion)
HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26 2009
1) There is a custom upon seeing someone wear a new article of clothing, to wish them “Tischadesh”, a greeting indicating that you wish them much Simcha from their new possession.
If the article of clothing is leather, including leather shoes, the custom is not to say “TisChadesh” since living things (i.e. animals) were hurt and/or killed in the process of manufacturing the garment.
There is no difference if the animal involved was a Kosher animal or not. (See Rama Siman 223:6 and Mishna Berura S”K 25)
2) According to some Poskim, the Bracha of SheHechiyanu is not recited on new leather garments for the same reason. (Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:15. In Sefer V’Zos HaBracha page 169 he quotes Rav Mordechai Eliyahu shlita as ruling this way and thus explains why no SheHechiyanu is recited on new Tefilin, since they are made from leather)
However, according to other Poskim, only “Tischadesh” isn’t said to one who is wearing a new leather item, but the wearer of the item indeed should recite SheHechiyanu. (Pri Megadim(Mishbetzos Zahav) Siman 22:1, Kaf HaChaim 223:48 and Ketzos HaShulchan Siman 64:6)
Some Poskim say that SheHechiyanu is not recited on shoes for a different reason: that shoes aren’t considered a significant article of clothing and are often replaced. (See Aruch HaShulchan 223:8 and Halichos Shlomo ibid.)
HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 27 2009
(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) One who purchases a Sefer Torah, or any other Torah books (Sefarim) for personal use does not recite SheHechiyanu, according to most Poskim (See Mishna Berura 223:13 that this is due to the rule of “Mitzvos lav L’hanos Nitnu,Mitzvos were not given for pleasure”. See Be’er Heitev Siman 223:10 quoting the Mogen Avraham and other Poskim. See Shu”t Chasam Sofer Siman 53 and 156 and Chayei Adam Klal 62:65. Those Poskim that do require the SheHechiyanu say it should be recited at the first time the Torah is read. (Be’er Heitev ibid. and Sha’arei Ephraim Siman 304:34 where he rules that it may not be recited until the Sefer Torah has been examined and checked for mistakes)
However, if the Sefarim are received as a gift and they are significantly valued (such as a set of Shas (Talmud) that a Chasan customarily receives) then a SheHechiyanu is recited , as there is definitely Simcha in the monetary value of the Sefer besides the Simcha of being able to learn from it. (See Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:17)
Upon purchasing a Sefer Torah for public use, some have the custom that one person recites SheHechiyanu on a new fruit or article of clothing and has in mind that it cover the Sefer Torah as well on behalf of the entire congregation. (Shu”t MaHaram Shik Yoreh Deah Siman 294 and Kaf HaChaim 223:21)
2) One who authors a torah book or pays to have a Sefer published does not recite SheHechiyanu according to many Poskim. However, here too, the Poskim advise to recite it on a new fruit and have in mind to exempt the Sefer. (Kaf HaChaim 223:86. See Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 14 Siman 67 and Shu”t Minchas Elazar Vol. 4 Siman 65 where they rule that SheHechiyanu is recited)
HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH
1) One who receives a substantial gift of money, and is embarrassed at having received this gift, does not recite SheHechiyanu. (Mishna Berura 223:20)
However, if the money was received in a respectable way, and not in a way that the recipient felt embarrassed that he/she was getting a handout or Tzedaka, indeed a SheHechiyanu should be recited according to many Poskim. (See Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:26)
2) Upon the birth of a baby boy, SheHechiyanu is not recited, rather the Bracha recited [by both the father and the mother, or by the father being Motzei the mother] is “HaTov V’HaMeitiv”. This Bracha should be recited as close to the birth as possible, regardless if the baby was seen. (Mishna Berura Siman 223:1-3)
Upon the birth of a baby girl, according to many Poskim the Bracha of SheHechiyanu is recited upon seeing her for the first time. (Mishna Berura 223:2. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 5 Siman 43:5. Other Poskim, including Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal maintain that no Bracha is said on a girl. See Igros Moshe ibid. for the reasoning of this Halacha.)
One who sees his/her friend, and hasn’t seen them in 30 days and experiences Simcha upon seeing them, recites SheHechiyanu. If the friend wasn’t seen in over a year, the Bracha recited is “Baruch…Mechayeh HaMeisim” (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 225:1 and Aruch HaShulchan 225:1 that a man may only recite this Bracha upon seeing his wife, mother, daughter or sister and not on any other females)
If during this time of absence, letters were received or regards were received about them, no Bracha is recited. Thus, nowadays with telephones, email etc. we are virtually always in touch with people we love and care about and thus according to many Poskim these Brachos are seldom required. (See Orchos Rabbeinu page 114.see Aruch HaShulchan 225:2 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 59:20 who differentiates between the 2 Brachos, that Mechayeh HaMeisim isn’t said these days, but SheHechiyanu upon seeing their face is still said. See also Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:12)