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Before the morning reading of Megillat Esther, the reader says 3 brachot including Shehechyanu (according to Ashkenazic practice). This applies, to some degree, and in some way to that morning's reading -- see here for discussion. Therefore, as long as I hear the entire megillah, that bracha is not in vain. But I am supposed to have in mind the mitzvot of the day-time (Se'udah, Matanot l'Evyonim and Mishlo'ach Manot).

First, and of lesser importance is whether that bracha can "cover" acts I already did in the morning (if I gave someone Manot on my way IN to shul).

Second, and more importantly, what if, after having that intention, I never do those three mitzvot? The bracha is not in vain because I "used" it to cover the Megillah reading, but my intention was to "use" it for a mitzvah that I never fulfill. Is the bracha, in any sense therefore, levatala?

Bonus follow up -- if there is a possibility that I won't end up fulfilling the Mitzvah, should I NOT have it in mind at the Megillah reading, and, if the opportunity ends up arising for fulfilling it, say another Shehechyanu later in the day when the situation comes up? (IOW, in order to avoid the problem, shouldn't I just make separate brachot as each Mitzvah is done?)

  • If you say haeitz on an apple and a pear and then you decide not to eat the pear, is it a bracha levatala? – Heshy Mar 21 at 12:27
  • @Heshy does one have to have in mind which food would have been included? What is the value of "having in mind" if it has no practical consequence? – rosends Mar 21 at 12:47
  • Note not all Ashkenazim repeat the Shehechiyanu in the morning. – Double AA Mar 21 at 13:38
  • @DoubleAA For those who don't, do they make separate shehechyanu brachot for each of the other 'daytime' mitzvot? – rosends Mar 21 at 13:49
  • No, no one does. Having them in mind is just a Chumra by some Acharonim who wondered why they don't get their own blessings and said might as well have them in mind. – Double AA Mar 21 at 13:50

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