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 Shehechiyanu. [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 anytime one didn’t finish eating, however once one finished, one can’t make a Shechiyanu 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 Shechiyanu. [6]
  2. Fruit that’s available in the marketplace all year round (because of the refrigeration and transportation) do not require Shechiyanu, (however it’s preferable to cover it with a Shehecheyanu from another fruit if possible.) [7]
  3. 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. [8]
  4. The Sefer Zevot HaBracha writes that the general list of fruits in Israel that are considered not available all year round and deserve a Shechiyanu 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. [9]
  2. Getting new clothing which aren’t significant such as undershirts, sweaters, white-shirts, pajamas, and socks, no Bracha is required. [10]
  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. [11]
  4. Important clothing such as a suit, tuxedo, expensive hat, or shtriemel can deserve a Shechiyanu if the clothing brings joy to a person. Some have the minhag not to make Shehecheyanu on clothing at all. [12]
  5. There’s a dispute whether one can make a Bracha for buying new Seforim, however, if one receives important Seforim as a present one can make a Shechiyanu. [13]

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. [14]
  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 loss. [15]
  3. One should make a Shechiyanu upon buying a new car unless one's family will also use it in which case one should make HaTov VeHaMeitiv. [16]

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. [17]

References

  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 Shechiyanu first in order not to make an interruption between the Bracha and eating. However, Zevot 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, Zevot HaBracha (pg 160) quoting Rav Elyashiv
  6. S”A 225:6
  7. Zevot HaBracha (pg 161)
  8. Zevot HaBracha (pg 162-3)
  9. S”A 223:3
  10. S”A 233:6, Piskei Teshuvot 223:6, Rivivot Efraim 8:548(6)
  11. Vezot HaBracha (pg 169)
  12. Piskei Teshuvot 223:6
  13. Mishna Brurah 223:17 and Vezot HaBracha (pg 167)
  14. S”A 223:5, Mishna Brurah 223:21
  15. Piskei Teshuvot 223:6
  16. Sh"t Rivevot Efraim 1:375 in the name of Rav Moshei Feinstein
  17. 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 wear it.