Pidyon Kaparot Now

Shehecheyanu on Sefarim

Question:

Do I make a shehecheyanu on buying a new sefer?

 

Answer:

The minhag is that we don’t make a shehechiyanu when buying a new sefer. The reason given by the poskim is because “mitzvos lav l’henos nitnu” (mitzvos were not given for the purpose of enjoyment), therefore we only make shehechiyanu on newly acquired clothing of fruits, but not seforim. Although there are poskim who argue with this, since it is controversial, even if one is really excited over a new sefer or set of seforim, if the person really wants to, he may still say it, however it is still preferable not to. Alternatively, he can say the bracha without saying Hashem’s name.

Sources:

Magen Avrohom 223-5, Sharei Teshuva 223-2, Shulchan Aruch Horav (Birkas Henehenin) 12-5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59-11. Also see Mishna Berura 123-19 that although it is controversial, if one is excited about a sefer that he bought, we shouldn’t stop him is he makes a bracha. This would seem that even the Mishna Berura holds that it still preferable not to make the bracha.  Also see Halichos Shlomo (Tefilla) 23-17 ftnt. 79, that the minhag is not to make a bracha. He does say that if a person is excited over a new shas etc. that he may make a bracha. Also see Pri Megadim E:A 223-5, and Derech Hachayim who say to make the bracha without saying Hashem’s name.

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