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 Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

What Constitutes a “Permanent” or “Professional” Knot

In previous Halachot we have explained that is forbidden to tie a “permanent” knot on Shabbat, i.e. a knot which is not meant to be untied in the near future. It is likewise forbidden to tie a “professional” knot on Shabbat, i.e. a knot which requires some skill to tie. Howev......

Read Halacha

Chol Ha’Mo’ed

The days between the first and seventh days (outside of Israel between the second and eighth days) of the Pesach holiday and the days between the first day of Sukkot and the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (outside of Israel between the second day of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret) are called “Chol Ha&......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Tying and Untying on Shabbat

The Mishnah in Masechet Shabbat (73a) lists the thirty-nine forms of forbidden work on Shabbat. The Mishnah includes “tying and untying” among them. One who ties or unties a knot on Shabbat is tantamount to having kindled a fire or planted wheat on Shabbat. There are several detailed ......

Read Halacha

Knots Forbidden To Be Tied on Shabbat by Rabbinic Enactment and Those Permitted to be Tied

In the previous Halacha we have explained that two of the forbidden works on Shabbat are tying and untying a knot. We have likewise discussed some forms of knots which are forbidden to be tied on Shabbat by Torah law. We shall now discuss several forms of knots which are forbidden to be tied as a re......

Read Halacha

Everything is Foreseen and Permission is Granted

Israeli Independence Day is celebrated today. Since we have discussed this topic several times in the past, we will not delve into this matter lengthily at this point. Let us just note that according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, although one must show thanks to Hashem for removing the ......

Read Halacha

Separating the Tzitzit Strands

Question: My younger son wears a “Tallit Katan” (Tzitzit garment). When I see that the Tzitzit strands become entangled, may I untangle them on Shabbat? Answer: Before reciting a blessing on a Tallit or a Tallit Katan (Tzitzit garment), one must separate the Tzitzit strands from one a......

Read Halacha