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The Shehecheyanu blessing (Hebrew: שהחינו‎, "Who has given us life") is a common Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions. It is said to be thankful for new and unusual experiences.[1] The blessing has been recited by Jews for nearly 2000 years. It comes from the Talmud (Berachot 54a, Pesakhim 7b, Sukkah 46a, etc.)

Contents

Recitation

The blessing of Shehecheyanu is recited in thanks or commemoration of:

(normally said before the blessing over the fruit, but some customarily say it afterwards)[2]
The fruit must be fresh, not dried.[2]
  • Seeing a friend who has not been seen in thirty days
  • Buying certain new articles of clothing or utensils, such as a new suit
  • The birth of a child
  • At a Pidyon Haben
  • During a ritual immersion in a mikveh as part of a conversion
  • (Some have the custom of saying it at the ceremony of the Birkat Hachama, which is recited once every 28 years in the month of Nissan/Adar II).

Text

Hebrew[1] English[2] Transliteration[1]

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ

Blessed are You, L-rd Baruch atah Adonai

אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם

our G-d, Ruler of the

Universe,

Eloheinu melech ha'olam

שֵהֵחְיָנוּ וְקִיְימָנוּ

who has granted us life, sustained us she'hecheyanu v'ki'y'manu

וְהִגִעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶה׃

and

enabled us to reach this occasion.

v'higiyanu lazaman ha'zeh.

Some traditions dictate saying "lizman" rather than "lazman". This is the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah and Aruch Hashulchan, following Magen Avraham..[3]

Modern history

The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel was publicly read in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948, before the expiration of the British Mandate at midnight. After the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, read the Declaration of Independence, Rabbi Fishman, recited the Shehecheyanu blessing, and the Declaration of Independence was signed. The ceremony concluded with the singing of "Hatikvah."

Avshalom Haviv finished his speech in court on June 10, 1947 with the Shehecheyanu blessing.

There is a common musical rendition of the blessing composed by Meyer Machtenberg, an Eastern European choirmaster who composed it in United States in the 19th century.

Media

  • MP3 file - Shehecheyanu blessing from VirtualCantor.com

See also

References

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