Halacha for Sunday 6 Tammuz 5780 June 28 2020

The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing.

Nevertheless, the Poskim and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 225) write that nowadays, one should only recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing only upon eating the new fruit. The Poskim discuss several reasons for why one should recite this blessing specifically when eating the fruit as opposed to when one sees it. The Magen Avraham writes that the reason for this is based on the Rishonim (Sefer Mitzvot Katan and others) who write that when one sees a new fruit and plans on eating it at a later time, one should only recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing when eating the fruit, for the primary enjoyment of the fruit is when one eats it. Thus, it has become customary to always recite this blessing when eating the fruit.

Nevertheless, if one did recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing the fruit for whatever reason, one should not repeat this blessing when one eats the fruit, for the individual is exempted by the blessing he recited at the time he saw it. However, it is improper to deviate from the prevalent custom established by the great Poskim and quoted in Shulchan Aruch which is to only recite this blessing when eating the fruit.

In any case, we see that the primary establishment of the “Shehecheyanu” blessing is for the enjoyment one has from the fruit, either when seeing it or eating it. Thus, if one does not derive any enjoyment from the fruit, such as, if one was served a new fruit and one does not particularly like this fruit and only wants to taste the fruit to see how it tastes or if the fruit is not yet ripe enough and it is bitter or sour, one should not recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon eating the fruit. Indeed, Hagaon Harav Shmuel Ha’Levi Wosner zt”l rules likewise (in his Responsa Shevet Ha’Levi, Volume 4, Chapter 25) that if one knows that one is not glad as a result of the fruit, one should not recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. The Sefer Halacha Berura (Chapter 225) quotes his opinion as Halacha.

Similarly, since the primary enactment of the blessing was for seeing the new fruit and the enjoyment this engenders, clearly, even if one eats only a small amount of the fruit, one may still recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing since one is happy and enjoys the new fruit.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

The Blessings on Thunder and Lightning

One who sees lightning recites the blessing, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam Oseh Ma’aseh Bereshit.” One who hears thunder recites the blessing, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam She’Kocho Ugvurato Maleh Olam.” Until When Can On......

Read Halacha

“And Your Camp Shall Be Holy”

Question: May I pray when my child is walking around the house in a dirty diaper? Answer: We derive from the verse in the Torah, “And your camp shall be holy”, that one may not recite words of Torah, pray, or perform any acts of holiness (for instance donning Tefillin) in the restroom......

Read Halacha

Women and the Shabbat Meals-The Custom of Maran zt”l

Question: Are women obligated to eat all three Shabbat meals as are men? Answer: In the previous Halachot, we have explained the primary laws regarding the Shabbat meals, including the obligation to eat three meals on Shabbat: One on Shabbat night, one on Shabbat morning, and one on Shabbat after......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

Using Frozen Bread for “Double Bread”

We have already discussed that there is a Mitzvah to recite the Hamotzi blessing during the Shabbat meals on “double bread,” i.e. two loaves of bread. It is fairly common that one does not have two loaves of bread for this Mitzvah and would like to join a frozen loaf of bread from the fr......

Read Halacha

Speaking Between Washing One’s Hands and the “Hamotzi” Blessing

Question: Is one permitted to speak between washing one’s hands and reciting the Hamotzi blessing? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (42a) states: “Immediately following hand-washing, one must recite the blessing.” The Rishonim disagree as to the explanation of this Gemara......

Read Halacha

“Double Bread”

In the previous Halacha, we have explained the laws of Seuda Shelishit and would also like to discuss the laws of women regarding Seuda Shelishit. However, since this issue is connected to the laws of women and “double bread” on Shabbat, let us first discuss the basic laws of “doub......

Read Halacha