תורה ברשת
Shehechianu or Ha-Etz – Which Comes First?
הרב דוד ספרלינג
השיעור הועבר ע"י הרב דוד ספרלינג
שיעורים נוספים של המרצה ניתן למצוא כאן

When eating fruits for the first time in the season we say "Shehechianu" (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Haim, 225) – but which bracha comes first: the bracha over the fruit, "ha-etz", or the "shehechianu"?

There is good logic to say the bracha over the fruit first. Firstly, we have the rule that "when there is something which occurs frequently, as opposed to something which occurs infrequently,the frequent one takes precedence" (tadir ve'aino tadir – tadir kodem), which would put the regular bracha for the fruit before the less frequent shehechianu bracha. Secondly, it is only because we have decided to eat the fruit that we are saying the shehechianu. That is to say, the fruit bracha is the cause of the need for the shehechianu bracha, and so it is logical that it would come first. Thirdly, the shehechianu shouldn't be considered a hefsek, (a forbidden interruption between the bracha over the food and the eating) because it is itself an obligatory utterance – just as the Gemara allows one to talk between the blessing and the eating if it is needed for the sake of the food itself. And lastly, we see that in general, shehechianu follows the first bracha, such as Hanukah candles, sitting in the Succah, shaking lulav, and all other mitzvot we do, and hence there is no reason to follow a different order when it comes to food.

 

On the other hand – The rule of "frequent and infrequent" only applies when the two obligations come simultaneously. In fact, the bracha of Shehechianu actually applies when seeing the new fruit (Shulchan Aruch ibid 3). However, our custom is to hold off saying the shehechianu until we are ready to eat the new fruit because that is when we are truly happy.  Nonetheless, the shehechianu bracha actually becomes applicable before the bracha over eating, and so one can argue that it should be recited first. This answers the second point also – it isn’t the eating of the fruit (and it's bracha) that bring about the shehechianu bracha. We are really already obligated in the shehechianu even before the first bite, and so shehechianu should come first. This being the case, there is a real concern that saying shehechianu after the "ha-etz" would constitute a "hefsek", and create a forbidden break between the blessing over the food and the eating. This is especially so according to those who hold that shehechianu over fruits (as opposed to shehechianu over performing the mitzvot in their season) is not obligatory, rather optional for those who feel joy at eating a new fruit. If so, there is no comparison to shehechianu we say over mitzvot, because there the shehechianu obligation is only because of the mitzvah, and is just as binding as that of the bracha on the mitzvah itself. In that case it makes sense to say it after the more frequently-recited blessing on the mitzvah.

In practice, the common custom is to say the "ha-etz" first (See Yechave Da'at 3, 15 and the Be'er Haitev 225, 6 on the page of the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brura). On the other hand the Mishna Brura (ibid 11), and the Aruch HaShulchan (ibid 5) hold that one should say the shehechianu first. 

שיעורים נוספים ניתן למצוא בקטגוריות הבאות: ברכות
תאריך העלאה:ט׳ באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ו
18/02/16
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