Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: So Why Don't We Say שהחיינו At Kiddush Friday Night?!

The bracha of שהחיינו is said on events that occur from time to time that bring one joy.  The classic examples are a new suit of clothes and new fruits.  The problem with שהחיינו on new clothes is that I hate shopping and getting little to no joy out of wearing new clothes (much to my family's chagrin).  The problem with שהחיינו on a new fruit is.... well, that's a story.

I had heard that R' Moshe says that now a days we don't say שהחיינו on new fruits because you can get basically any fruit any time.  I had heard that, but I don't like to relinquish my halachic decisions to hearsay.  I resolved to call R' Fuerst, but wanted to do my homework first.  I reviewed what the Mishna Brura has to say.  Pretty much what you'd expect: the general rule of ספק ברכות להקל applies, but one really, really does not want to give up the the opportunity to make a שהחיינו.  Basically, proceed with caution, but don't use ספק ברכות להקל as an excuse to be lazy.  (Dirshu didn't add anything to that.)

Next step... find the article in Igros Moshe.  I don't have a Yad Moshe (index into Igros Moshe), so I had a great idea:  The articles are basically in the order of the Shulchan Aruch, so I just need to look for topics that bracket siman on שהחיינו and I am good to go.  Right?  So, so wrong...

I started at the fourth Orach Chaim section (fourth of four, btw) and found there was a partial index and it had an entry for שהחיינו on new fruits; shazam!  We're cookin' with gas now!  Then I saw that article was mainly about why we don't make a שהחיינו at Chanuka; many, many simanim after the siman on שהחיינו.  Ah well... as long as I was there... In that article, R' Moshe brings that if one found a fruit that ripened two, three, four, or more times a year, then one could, in fact, make a שהחיינו on each new ripening.  His point being that שהחיינו is on things that happen from time to time, not specifically annually.  Unfortunately, this doesn't help for the question that prompted this discussion,  because our question is not that it ripens several times a year, but that it is continually available.

...but it does bring us to Shabbos... So Why Don't We Say שהחיינו At Kiddush Friday Night?  After all, we make kiddush and every other kiddush on a new holiday is accompanied by a שהחיינו.  The seeming exception kiddush on for the last days of Pesach.  However the reason for that is that the last day(s) of Pesach does not herald a new holiday, but a continuation of Pesach itself.  We see from the example about fruit that just because something happens many times a year does not exclude it from a שהחיינו.  In fact, R' Moshe gives a beautiful answer -- what do you mean Shabbos happens from time to time?  A Jew is always either celebrating Shabbos or preparing for it.  Even the days of our week have no name except how far we are along in our preparations for Shabbos -- Day One (of preparation for Shabbos), Day Two (of preparation for Shabbos), ... Shabbos!

As to the original question... I finally called R' Fuerst.  First I got mussar: I don't hear from you very often... where have you been?  Oh, so you listen to the shiurim... you don't have any questions?  Then I got homework: first read the article in the third section of Orach Chaim (it's article 34), then you can call me back and ask your question.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…