Torah Riddles #219

 Question: Why does Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach poskin that you should say shehecheyanu on a new tallis after you say the bracha on the tallis but for a new fruit you first say shehecheyanu then the bracha on the fruit to eat it?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 225:3) says that one who sees a new fruit formed from year to year blesses a shehecheyanu. Even if he sees it in his friend’s hand or on the tree. Our custom is to make the blessing when we eat it.

B. The Mishna Berura (10) says that the main enactment of saying shehecheyanu for a fruit is because of the joy in one’s heart that one feels over the sprouting (or ripening) of a new fruit. In Mishna Berura (11) he says that the reason for the custom of saying shehecheyanu by eating it is because if one doesn’t get joy out of seeing it he will certainly get joy out of eating it. The Pri Megadim says that ideally one should make the blessing of shehecheyanu first then the blessing on the fruit and eat it, or make the blessing on the fruit, take a small bite then say shehecheyanu, but technically if you say the blessing on the fruit then shehecheyanu, and then take a bite that is fine too.

 C. The enjoyment of a new tallis is a personal enjoyment.

Answer: Since the enjoyment of a tallis is personal then he has to first wear it to enjoy it then he can say shehecheyanu but by a fruit where the shehecheyanu is for the new fruit that sprout which is an enjoyment for any Jew, it’s not personal, therefore the blessing of shehecheyanu comes first even if you will be saying it when you eat it.