Halacha for Thursday 10 Tammuz 5780 July 2 2020

The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing on a New Garment

Question: When is the appropriate time to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing on a new garment, at the time of purchase or the first time one wears it? Similarly, must one recite this blessing for every new piece of clothing one purchases?

Answer: The Mishnah (Berachot 54a) teaches us that upon purchasing new garments, one should recite the blessing of “Shehecheyanu Ve’Kiyemanu Ve’Higianu La’Zeman Hazeh.

Regarding when to recite this blessing, the Rashba writes that this blessing should be recited at the time of purchase and not when it is worn. Indeed, the Rosh writes that this blessing was enacted upon the joy one has at the time one purchases a new garment. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 223) rules in accordance with this opinion that the “Shehecheyanu” blessing should be recited at the time of a garment’s purchase and not the first time it is worn.

Nevertheless, several Acharonim write that the prevalent custom is not to recite this blessing at the time the garment is purchased, rather, it is recited the first time one wears the garment at which point one is truly happy. Hagaon Rabbeinu Yosef Haim rules likewise in his Ben Ish Hai (Parashat Re’eh, Section 1) as does Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l. Since the recitation of this blessing is contingent upon the prevalent custom, one should not change this custom and recite the blessing at the time of purchase; rather, one should recite the blessing the first time one wears the garment in accordance with the custom of the entire Jewish nation.

Regarding which garments one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon, since the “Shehecheyanu” blessing was instituted upon one’s inner joy, one may only recite this blessing upon garments which usually bring joy to people. Additionally, in order to warrant this blessing, the garment must be innately important, as the Mishnah states that this blessing is recited upon “a new home or new garments” (although it is preferable not to recite this blessing upon a new home). We can infer that the garment must be important just as a house is. The great Tosafists derive from here that one should not recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon insignificant garments such as shoes or socks. Similarly, one should certainly not recite this blessing upon undershirts and the like, for such garments are not significant enough to require the “Shehecheyanu” blessing to be recited. It is indeed the prevalent custom to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing only on important garments as opposed to shoes (refers to regular shoes which are not expensive and important in the individual’s eyes), socks, and the like.

Summary: One who purchases a new garment must recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. The prevalent custom is to recite this blessing the first time one wears the garment. One should not recite this blessing on garments that are not so significant such as undershirts or socks. Similarly, one should not recite this blessing upon shoes which are not so significant or expensive.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Washing One’s Hands in the Morning

When one awakens in the morning from one’s sleep, one must wash one’s hands and recite the blessing, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Al Netilat Yadayim” (this law is discussed in Berachot 60b). The order of this washing i......

Read Halacha

The Torah is in the Hands of the Jewish Nation

Our Sages teach us in the Gemara (Berachot 5a) that Hashem does not conduct himself like human beings, for when a human being sells an object to another, the seller is upset about the loss of the object he was forced to sell and the buyer is happy about the acquisition of his new purchase. On the ot......

Read Halacha

Question: If one wakes up in the middle of the night and would like to drink a glass of water, must one first wash one’s hands before reciting the blessing on the water?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed the general obligation of washing one’s hands (Netilat Yadayim) and we briefly discussed the reasons for this Mitzvah. Two of these reasons are: Firstly, the reason quoted by the holy Zohar which states that when one goes to sleep, one’s ......

Read Halacha

The Customary Order of the Night of Shavuot

The Source for the Order of the Night of Shavuot The widespread custom among the entire Jewish nation is to stay awake the entire night of Shavuot and immerse one’s self in Torah study until dawn. Indeed, the holy Zohar states: “The earlier righteous individuals would not sleep on this ......

Read Halacha


Blessings of Enjoyment and Keri’at Shema on the Night of Shavuot

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed the order of learning for the night of Shavuot during which it is customary to remain awake all night and study Torah. Reading the Order of the “Keri’eh Mo’ed” Let us first discuss that which we have mentioned that it is proper t......

Read Halacha

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

Praying Repeatedly-A Spark of Ruach Ha’Kodesh

Question: Is it correct for one to plead and beseech Hashem for the same thing every single day or is it more proper to pray for a certain matter only several times and if one sees that one has not been answered, one should cease praying for that specific matter? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 32b)......

Read Halacha

Donating Tzedakah (Charity) in Order for One’s Son to Recover From an Illness

Question: Is it permissible to donate a sum of money to charity in the merit of which someone should become healed or for any other personal request or is it improper to do this since the Mitzvah is not being performed for the sake of Heaven, rather, for one’s personal purposes? Answer: The......

Read Halacha