Friday, August 19, 2011

The blessing Shehecheyanu (Part 2)

Previously, we have explained that our rabbis established a blessing to be said when something happy happens to us. When we acquire something new, which brings us happiness we recite the blessing "Shehecheyanu" (see here ).

For example, if we buy or get as a gift a new suit, a new dress or any new clothing that we are happy to have, we say Shehecheyanu, acknowledging God as the ultimate source of our blessings and enjoyments.

The custom is to recite this berakha not when we buy the new clothes but when we wear them for the first time.

Similarly, when we eat a fruit from the new season we also recite the blessing Shehecheyanu to thank God Almighty for the beautiful world He created, and for the multitude of trees and fruits He fashioned, just for our enjoyment.

One of the spiritual benefits of this blessing is that it teaches us not to take small happiness for granted. To eat a fruit of the new season might seem a trivial ordinary act, but we Jewish people don't miss an opportunity to remember God and to thank Him for His blessing toward us. The more spiritual a person is, the more awe and amazement he or she will feel for the small things he enjoys. The more materialistic a person is, the more difficult will be for him or her to enjoy or appreciate God's daily gifts. A materialistic person, no matter how wealthy he is, gets his pleasure only in the pursuit of what he does not have.

The blessing Shehecheyanu teaches us to enjoy and appreciate what we NOW have.

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