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The Shehecheyanu berakhah (blessing) (Hebrew: ברכת שהחיינו, "Who has given us life") is a common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions. It expresses gratitude to God for new and unusual experiences or possessions.[1] The blessing was recorded in the Talmud[2] over 1500 years ago.


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

  • Generally, when doing or experiencing something that occurs infrequently from which one derives pleasure or benefit.
  • The beginning of a holiday, including Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simhat Torah and Hanukkah, but not holidays commemorating sad events, such as Tisha B'av.
  • The first performance of certain mitzvot in a year, including sitting in a sukkah, eating matzah at the Passover Seder, reading the megillah, or lighting the candles on Hanukkah.
  • Eating a new fruit for the first time since Rosh Hashanah.
    Normally said before the blessing over the fruit, but some customarily say it afterwards.[3]
    The fruit must be fresh, not dried.[3]
  • Seeing a friend who has not been seen in thirty days.
  • Acquiring a new home or other significant possessions.
  • The birth of a child.
  • A pidyon haben ceremony.
  • During a ritual immersion in a mikveh as part of a conversion.
  • On arrival in Israel.

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 Nisan/Adar II.

When several reasons apply (such as the beginning of Passover, together with the mitzvot of matzah, marror, etc.), the blessing is only said once.

It is not recited at a brit milah by Ashkenazim, since the circumcision involves pain, nor at the Counting of the Omer, since that is a task that does not give pleasure and causes sadness at the thought that the actual Omer ceremony cannot be performed because of the destruction of the Temple.[4][5] However, it is recited by Sephardim at the bris milah ceremony.[6]


Hebrew[7] English[8] Transliteration[8]
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה‎ Praised[9] are You, Lord Barukh attah adonai
אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם our God, King of the universe, eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ For granting us life, for sustaining us, she-heḥeyanu v'kiy'manu
וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃ and for helping us to reach this day. v'higi'anu la-z'man hazeh.

Although the most prevalent custom[10] is to recite lazman in accordance with the usual rules of dikduk (Hebrew language grammar),[10] some, including Chabad,[3] have the custom to say lizman ("to [this] season"); this custom follows the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah[11] and Aruch Hashulchan,[12] following Magen Avraham,[13] Mateh Moshe[14] and Maharshal.[10]

Modern history[edit]

Avshalom Haviv finished his speech in court on June 10, 1947, with the Shehecheyanu blessing.[15]

The Israeli Declaration of Independence 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 Yehuda Leib Maimon recited the Shehecheyanu blessing, and the Declaration of Independence was signed. The ceremony concluded with the singing of "Hatikvah."[16]

There is a common[according to whom?] musical rendition of the blessing composed by Meyer Machtenberg, an Eastern European choirmaster who composed it in the United States in the 19th century.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Isaac Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 1979, p. 48: "Whenever we experience something new, such as eating fruit for the first time in its season, the advent of a holiday, or a joyous occasion in the family, we recite שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה"
  2. ^ Berachot 54a, Pesakhim 7b, Sukkah 46a, etc.
  3. ^ a b c "Shehecheyanu". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  4. ^ Nulman, Macy (1993). Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer. NJ. p. 91.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Scherman, Nosson (2010). The Expanded ArtScroll Siddur (Ashkenaz). Brooklyn: Mesorah Publ'ns. p. 231.
  6. ^ Holtzberg, Avraham Yeshaya; Neubort, Shimon. "Customs of Bris Milah: Chapter 3". Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  7. ^ Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Complete ArtScroll Siddur, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, 1984, p. 230
  8. ^ a b Siddur Sim Shalom, edited & translated by Rabbi Jules Harlow, The Rabbinical Assembly/The United Synagogue of America, New York, 1989, p. 712
  9. ^ The first word, בָּרוּךְ (barukh), is more commonly translated as "blessed" (in, for example: Nosson Scherman's The Complete ArtScroll Siddur, 1984, p. 231; Philip Birnbaum's Ha-Siddur ha-Shalem, 1949, p. 776; Reuben Alcalay's Complete English-Hebrew Dictionary, p. 287; Langenscheidt's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary by Karl Feyerabend, p. 47)
  10. ^ a b c רבינוביץ, שמחה בן-ציון (2021). פסקי תשובות חלק שישי סימן תרע״ו אות א'. ירושלים.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  11. ^ "משנה ברורה סי׳ תרע״ו ס״ק א׳". Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  12. ^ "ערוך השלחן או״ח סי׳ תרע״ו, ג׳". Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  13. ^ "מגן אברהם - הקדמה לסימן תרע״ו". Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  14. ^ "מטה משה, חלק חמישי, סי׳ תתק״פ". Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  15. ^ Phillips, Moshe (25 June 2009). "Remember Your 21st Birthday?". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  16. ^ Wohlgelernter, Elli (30 April 1998). "One Day that Shook the World". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Shehecheyanu (arr. M. Sobol for voice, choir and orchestra)". Spotify. Retrieved 24 May 2020.