The bracha of Shehechyanu (according to here) was instituted to be said "for uncommon or periodical occurrences and experiences, such as holidays and their mitzvot, fruits in their new season, major purchases, and exciting news." (emphasis mine)

I can't find any solid information about what constitutes "exciting news" and whether that is personal news or news of world import (the wiki page mentions the founding of the State of Israel). Would an end to a war, or the announcement of a treaty, or a successful vaccine to a world wide plague allow for a bracha to be made?

  • Vaccines rarely have binary "success" moments like a war treaty. There could easily be a somewhat helpful vaccine which over a long period of time slowly curbs a pandemic in particular areas or something like that – Double AA Aug 16 '20 at 18:16
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    I'd think it would be hatov vehameitiv, not shehecheyanu – Heshy Aug 16 '20 at 18:16
  • @Heshy I'm reading the S"A 222.1 and I can see that way of thinking. – rosends Aug 16 '20 at 18:31

Shehechiyanu is for experiences -- "God, you kept me alive to this momentous occasion that I'm feeling right now"; hatov vehameitiv upon hearing good news -- "God, you do good things like the one I just heard about."

Thus, for example, hatov vehameitiv upon hearing "you had a boy!", vs. shehechiyanu upon seeing your newborn daughter.

Thus, hearing news of vaccine would be hatov vehameitiv; not sure what the experiential equivalent would be (it's the removal of a negative) ... people tend not to think of getting shots as momentous occasions ...

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