Thursday, September 04, 2008

SheHechiyyanu on a New Fruit

There's a popular perception - which often comes into play on the second night of Rosh HaShanah - that one says a SheHechiyyanu on any fruit that one has not eaten in a year (however one defines such). I'm not sure where this idea comes from.

The Shulchan Aruch (OCh 225:6) states that any fruit that does not newly come into season each year (or part thereof), even if one has not eaten from it for a long time, does not carry with it the bracha of SheHechiyanu. Piskei Teshuvos (225:17-18) lists several rules governing the bracha on a new fruit:

- One does not say a SheHechiyyanu on a fruit, vegetable, or legume (!) that grows during all seasons of the year, even if it was seasonal until only modern times, but has now had its season extended through advanced technology, such as greenhouses, and is thus available in the market year-round, even if sometimes it is more expensive or uncommon.

- Seasonal fruits and vegetables that are stored in refrigerated containers, and that can thereby be acquired in the market year-round, are ineligible for the bracha of SheHechiyyanu, unless the fresh fruit that is available only during part of the year is clearly superior in taste or appearance than the refrigerated.

- One does not say the bracha on fruit that is pickled, preserved, or otherwise processed in any way through which it would not be recognizable that the fruit came from the new crop.

- Seasonal fruits that are out-of-season in one country but are imported from another country in which the fruits are now in-season are eligible for the bracha if 30 days have passed since he last ate this species of fruit. However, if the overall availability is such that the fruit is available throughout the year with no interruption, it has the same status as an aseasonal fruit.

These regulations would appear to make saying the bracha of SheHechiyyanu on a fruit more complicated.

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