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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.