Is the bracha of shecheyanu for buying new items (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 223:6; Mishnah Berurah 223:13) said when buying medical equipment which he hopes he will never need to use?

If someone buys an expensive piece of medical equipment, which will be life-saving to him if a specific medical situation arises, does he say the bracha of shecheyanu at the time of purchase? Do we say that since he is happy to have the equipment available for emergency use, he should say shehecheyanu, or do we say that since he hopes he will never have to make use of the equipment he does not say shehecheyanu?

  • Who wants a Yerusha to happen?
    – Double AA
    Jun 27, 2018 at 21:08
  • @DoubleAA the bracha is made only if it already happened! Im talking about making the bracha at time of purchase BEFORE anything happens. Jun 27, 2018 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


There is a certain amount of subjectivity in the bracha of shecheyanu in that the bracha is said if the object you buy brings you joy.

dinonline writes

Authorities dispute whether the berachah of shehecheyahu is entirely subjective, depending on the subjective joy a person feels, or whether the berachah includes an objective element, whereby if a garment or item is not important, and does not usually induce joy, one cannot recite the blessing. [...] Even if the item has some degree of importance, such as a fancy shirt, it is sufficient for making the blessing, provided that the person experiences subjective joy in buying it.

R Chaim Cohen here writes

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 223:6) and Mishna Berura (223:13) explain that this only applies to items that are important and one is particularly happy about acquiring.

Following the discussion in the comments, I found additional opinions supporting saying shecheyanu when experiencing mixed emotions, focusing the three weeks between 17 Tamuz and 9 Av. The following is extracted from the sefer Aveilut Hachurban by R Yoel Schwartz (from here, p. 75)

  • According to Shulchan Aruch and the Arizal, one should not say shecheyanu during the Three Weeks. However, one should not "spoil" the joy of a mitzva during this period of time by not saying the bracha - therefore at a brit mila or a Pidyon HaBen (even if they were postponed) the bracha is said. They also allow it for a (new) fruit that will not be available after Tish'a b'Av
  • The Vilna Gaon holds that one need not refrain from shecheyanu during the Three Weeks

So if buying the medical equipment (like a heart defibrillator I assume) brings someone joy, he could say the bracha (there would be a secondary question of shecheyanu vs. ha tov v' hameitiv if the equipment can help others). If the worry of never having to make use of the equipment removes the joy completely, I do not think it is justified.

As always CYLOR before attempting anything you read about here in real life.

  • ok so basiclly after all the information given the question still remains. (1) There is subjectivity involved in the obligation to say Shecheyanu... (2)The SA and MB pasken that if one is particularly happy about acquiring the item then he does say shehechyanu. (3) You would argue most people don't experience joy when buying such ... but this person is quite happy that now he has the life saving equipment necesary in case of emergency. Yet, (4) He hopes he will never have to make use of it. So, back to square one - Does he say Shecheyanu or not?? (Should I flag it as "not an answer"?) Jun 28, 2018 at 7:20
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    subjectivity means it depends on how the person feels. If the person feels real joy (despite the fact others don't and despite the fact that he hopes never to have to use it,) then he could say it. I thought that is what my next to last para ("So if buying...") said
    – mbloch
    Jun 28, 2018 at 7:22
  • Do you have a source to that last part, particularly that "If the person feels real joy despite the fact that he hopes never to have to use it then he could say it"? after all that was the main point in my original question. Jun 28, 2018 at 7:31
  • 1
    Let me break it down. The halacha says that someone feeling joy can/should say the bracha. I am personally feeling that, if you hope you never have to use it, you cannot feel joy because your joy is tempered by the anxiousness of not wanting to use it. But this is me. Maybe someone will feel pure joy and not be anxious not to use it. Since you wrote about "never having to use it", I felt maybe you felt like me. But maybe not. Someone who feels only joy falls within the halachic sources I quoted and should say it. I hope this clarifies my line of thought.
    – mbloch
    Jun 28, 2018 at 7:32
  • I was on the same page as you until the last sentence. You end with "someone who feels only joy falls within the halachic sources I quoted". If he feels great joy in finally having what he so desperately needs, yet he still hopes not to have to use it, is that joy neccesarilly "tempered by the anxiousness of not wanting to use it"? He may have untempered joy, yet it still does not fall under "feeling only joy. So which side tips the scales? Shechyanu or not? Jun 28, 2018 at 7:39

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