The Blessing over New Fruits (part IV)

  1. Some kinds of fruits were developed by grafting a branch of one breed onto
    a tree of another breed. Such grafting is forbidden. Because the fruits which
    grew from the grafted branch were produced in violation of the Torah Law, even
    if they were grafted by a gentile, the poskim are divided on the matter of reciting
    the שהחיינו blessing
    over them, and because they are divided, we do not recite the blessing. This
    applies only to the fruit that grew from the grafted branch because, even though
    it is permitted to consume it, it is the direct result of an averah. But if
    a branch from the grafted branch or a seed was planted, one can certainly recite
    the שהחיינו blessing
    on the fruit that is produced.

  2. One may recite the שהחיינו blessing for a hybrid fruit (as explained
    above) even if the blessing has already been recited over the fruits from which
    the new fruit derives. Because it has its own, distinct flavor and is called
    by a different name, it is considered a different fruit. Similarly, one recites
    the שהחיינו blessing over the fruits from which the hybrid derives even if the
    blessing has already been recited over the hybrid.

  3. If a person travels and find himself in a location in which a fruit he ate
    in his former location is out of season, he recites the
    שהחיינו blessing
    when it comes into season if thirty days have passed since he last ate the fruit
    in his former location.
  4. The שהחיינו
    blessing is not recited over foods such as fish which do not grow from the ground
    even when eating them for the first time. Similarly the
    שהחיינו blessing
    is not recited over mushrooms because they do not ripen in fixed seasons and
    grow from the air rather than from the ground. The custom is not to recite the
    שהחיינו blessing
    on fragrance that is seasonal.

  5. The text of the שהחיינו
    blessing seems repetitious:
    שהחיינו וקימנו והגיענו.
    HaGrash Kluger in his book Maaseh Yedai Yotzer comments that
    שהחיינו acknowledges
    that G-d gives us life that makes it possible for us to fulfill mitzvos;
    וקימנו refers
    to spiritual life, and acknowledges the Divine assistance that prevents the
    yetzer hara from separating us from G-d;
    והגיענו expresses
    the gratitude that besides life and the spiritual stature to serve Him, G-d
    has not allowed something to happen that might have otherwise prevented us from
    fulfilling the mitzvah. According to the Rokeach, cited by the Eliahu Rabba
    (225) these three words of the blessing correspond to three phrases from Tehillim
    (146:1-2): “Praise G-d, O my soul; I will praise G-d while I live; I will make
    music to my G-d while I exist."
  6. In the future a person will be held accountable for the good things he saw
    and did not eat. Rebbe Eliezer took this very seriously and would save money
    so that he could eat each new fruit. The Tashbetz explains that this is because
    the new fruit provides an opportunity to recite a blessing, and because eating
    from the new fruit and reciting the
    שהחיינו blessing
    is a way of demonstrating that G-d’s creation is dear to us.