The "Shehecheyanu" blessing ( _he. 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. [ [ Jewish Virtual Library] ] The blessing has been recited by Jews for nearly 2000 years. It comes from the Talmud (Berachot 54a, Pesakhim 7b, Sukkah 46a, etc.)


The blessing of "Shehecheyanu" is recited in thanks or commemoration of:
*The beginning of a holiday, including Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simhat Torah
*The first performance of certain mitzvot in a year, including sitting in a Sukkah, eating Matzah on at the Passover Seder, reading the megillah, or lighting the candles on Hannukah
*Eating a new fruit for the first time since Rosh Hashanah
*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 son


There are differing customs as to how to pronounce the second last word in the blessing - some say "Lazman", others "Lizman".

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."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.


* [ MP3 file] - Shehecheyanu blessing from

ee Also

*List of Jewish prayers and blessings


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