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I saw in the name of the Or Zaru'a and others that one does not make a b'racha before writing a sefer Torah even though it is a positive mitzva with an action associated because (among other reasons) one can be reasonably certain that he will not perform the mitzva exactly correctly since it is such a hard thing to do. However, one still says "Shehechiyanu" upon performance of this great mitzva. This led me to the question. . .

Performance of what other mitzvos warrants only the (time-based but not intrinsic) birkas "Shehechiyanu" but no birkas hamitzva?

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Why'd you make this one community wiki? Just curious. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '10 at 1:38
@Isaac Moses That is a good question. I just wanted to experiment. – WAF Dec 27 '10 at 14:37
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Matanos laevyonim, mishloach manos, and s'udas purim. Source: Magen Avraham 692:1, cited l'maase in Aruch Hashulchan :2 and Mishna B'rura :1. (More precisely, that's a source for saying shehecheyanu on these mitzvos, not for not making another b'racha on them.)

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The Mitzvos of Yom Kippur.

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Do we in fact say the b'racha on the mitzvos, or is it on the z'man only (like we say one for every yom tov)? – msh210 Dec 26 '10 at 20:05
Chaim B. Sommers, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for this answer! We'd love to have you as a fully-registered member, which you can accomplish by clicking register/login, above. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '10 at 1:37

2 that come to mind are:

Sukkah where meikar hadin shehecheyanu should be made at the time of the building of the sukkah (Aruch haShulchan b'shem shas bavli, yerushalmi and tosefta 641:3 and

Chanukah lights where even if a person will not light himself, he makes the other brachos upon seeing a chanukah light (Shulchan Aruch 676:3 and Aruch haShulchan 676:6-7), although one can say that the shehecheyanu is on the day, but the bracha was only set upon seeing/lighting candles.

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Re: sukkah. You are right that the shehechiyanu is essentially on building it, but as building it is not a mitzva, does this really qualify as a mitzva with only a shehechiyanu, or is it more similar to countless other examples of lone shehechiyanus on non-mitzvot (eg. buying a car)? – Double AA Nov 30 '12 at 10:49

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