Shehecheyanu

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Shehecheyanu for new fruit

  1. Chazal enacted Brachat Shehecheyanu for eating a new fruit because it brings a person happiness and should praise Hashem for the opportunity. [1] Even if you don’t feel a happiness for eating a new fruit, one still should make the Bracha (as we assume that he’s happy inside, even if he doesn’t express this externally). [2]

When to make the Bracha

  1. Even though it’s preferable to say Shehecheyanu before the Bracha on the fruit, the minhag is to make the Bracha on the food and then the Shehecheyanu. [3]
  2. One only makes a bracha on the first time one eats the fruit (that year). [4]
  3. If one forgot to make the Bracha before eating, one may make it as long as one has not finish eating; however once one finished, one can’t make a Shehecheyanu on that fruit. [5]

Which fruit require Shehecheyanu?

  1. One only makes a Bracha on fruits that grow yearly, however, fruits that grow all year round don’t require a Shehecheyanu. [6]
  2. The minhag is that one doesn't make a Shehecheyanu on vegetables or upon a nice smell (Besamim).[7]
  3. Fruit that’s available in the marketplace all year round (because of the refrigeration and transportation) do not require Shehecheyanu, (however it’s preferable to cover it with a Shehecheyanu from another fruit if possible.) [8]
  4. The following fruit don’t require a Shehecheyanu: banana, lemon, lettuce , cabbage, potato, carrot, onion, pear, dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, peanuts, almonds, olives, mushrooms, wine, and grape juice. [9]
  5. The Sefer Vezot HaBracha writes that the general list of fruits in Israel that are considered not available all year round and deserve a Shehecheyanu includes the following (however, in America, it’s very possible that some of these are available all year round; this is up to date for 5769, when the sefer was reprinted): avocado, watermelon, peach, cherry, quince, mango, apricot, grapes, strawberry, plum, cactus, and raspberry.

Shehecheyanu for new clothes or other items

  1. If one builds a new house or buys or receives a new vessel or clothing of significance a Shehecheyanu is required. [10]
  2. If one purchases insignificant clothing such as undershirts, sweaters, white-shirts, pajamas, and socks, no Bracha is required. [11]
  3. In general, shoes don’t require a Bracha of Shehecheyanu; however, expensive and important shoes can require a Bracha, unless they are made from leather in which case there’s a dispute if the Bracha should be made. [12]
  4. Important clothing such as a suit, tuxedo, expensive hat, or shtriemel can deserve a Shehecheyanu if the clothing brings joy to a person. Some have the minhag not to make Shehecheyanu on clothing at all. [13]
  5. There’s a dispute whether one can make a Bracha for buying new Seforim (religious books); however, if one receives important Seforim as a present one can make a Shehecheyanu. [14]
  6. If multiple people purchase new garments, each should recite Shehecheyanu on their own, rather than have one recite it on behalf of everyone. [15]

If it benefits others

  1. If the new house, vessel, or clothing also benefit others with a physical benefit, then one should make HaTov VeHaMeitiv, however, if it’s only beneficial to oneself, make Shehecheyanu. [16]
  2. For buying a new and significant household item (such as air-conditioning or cabinets) the minhag is not to make a HaTov VeHaMeitiv; however, the one who makes the Bracha has nothing to lose. [17]
  3. One should make a Shehecheyanu upon buying a new car unless one's family will also use it in which case one should make HaTov VeHaMeitiv. [18]

When to make Shehecheyanu

  1. The halacha is that the Bracha should be made at the time of buying the new clothing; however, the minhag is to make the Bracha when wearing the clothing. [19]

Sources

  1. Mishna Brurah 225:10
  2. VeZot HaBracha (18:1, pg 159) in name of Rav Elyashiv and Rav Chaim Kanievsky
  3. Mishna Brurah 225:11 writes that it’s preferable to say Shehecheyanu first in order not to make an interruption between the Bracha and eating. However, Vezot HaBracha (pg 159) writes that the minhag is to make the Bracha on the fruit first.
  4. Mishna Brurah 225:13
  5. Mishna Brurah 225:13, Sh"t Besel Chachma 5:27, Vezot HaBracha (pg 160) quoting Rav Elyashiv
  6. S”A 225:6
  7. Kitzur S"A 59:17
  8. Vezot HaBracha (pg 161)
  9. Vezot HaBracha (pg 162-3)
  10. S”A 223:3
  11. Mishna Brurah 223:13 explains that some say that there is no bracha for buying new sefarim since halachically one doesn't benefit from mitzvot. He quotes others who say that if one was endeavoring to get a certain sefer and got it, thereby bringing him joy, one should recite the Shehecheyanu. See also Piskei Teshuvot 223:6 and Rivivot Efraim 8:548(6)
  12. Vezot HaBracha (pg 169)
  13. Piskei Teshuvot 223:6.
    • Rav Herschel Schachter (min 30) quoted Rav Soloveitchik as holding that nowadays one shouldn’t say Shehecheyanu even on a new suit because it’s common to own multiple pairs and buy them frequently.
    • Rabbi Yacov Kermaier writes that for someone who buys a suit once a year one should make a Shehecheyanu and if it’s more routine than that one doesn’t make the Bracha. [1] writes that according to those who don’t make a Shehecheyanu on a new suit they would be able to buy it during the three weeks but it’s not preferable if it gives you some joy.
    • However, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Sefardi 47:6 writes that the minhag is to make Shehecheyanu on a new suit. Or Letzion (vol 3, pg 236) holds that one should make Shehecheyanu on a suit. Piskei Teshuvot 223:6, Halachically Speaking (vol 4, issue 3, pg 7), and Rivevot Efraim 6:308(3), 8:136 agree.
    • Brachot Shir VeHaShevach 2:4 pg 36 writes that even a rich person who buys suits like he buys shirts and isn’t very excited from them should make the Bracha of Shehecheyanu because it gives him satisfaction to wear clothing that is presentable. However, if to him it’s like buying new socks then one should not make a Bracha. On pg 235 he quotes Sh”t Divrei Chachamim chap 15 #201 who quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein that one makes Shehecheyanu on an expensive suit.
    • However, Aseh Lecha Rav (vol 8 pg 60) writes that one should make a Shehecheyanu on it even if one isn’t happy because most people would be happy with it.
  14. Kitzur S"A 59:11 writes that one shouldn't say a Shehecheyanu upon buying new Seforim. Mishna Brurah 223:17 writes that if one receives important Seforim as a present one can make a Shehecheyanu. Vezot HaBracha (pg 167) agrees.
  15. Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:23:2
  16. S”A 223:5, Mishna Brurah 223:21
  17. Piskei Teshuvot 223:6
  18. Sh"t Rivevot Efraim 1:375 in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein
  19. S”A 223:4, Mishna Brurah 223:17, and Vezot HaBracha (pg 167) write that the halacha is that the Bracha should be made when a person buys the clothing. However, Piskei Teshuvot 223:7 emphasizes that the minhag is to make the Bracha when one first wears it.