Sunday, September 14, 2014

A berachah on seeing a friend


The Talmud (Berachot 58b) and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 225:1) record that one who sees a friend after an absence of thirty days should recite the blessing of Shehechiyanu; the Shulchan adds that this is only if the friend is beloved, such that seeing him brings great joy.

Today we do not recite this berachah, perhaps because of uncertainty as to the level of joy specified in the Shulchan Aruch.

[MT - Perhaps another reason this has fallen out of practice is because the joy came from discovering that the friend was alive, after an extended absence. Indeed, after 12 months they would recite a stronger berachah, "Blessed is the One who revives the dead"! So perhaps in the modern age, when modern communications have made it more likely that people are alive unless one hears otherwise, the sense of happy relief associated with the meeting has become less powerful.]

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:161:2)

Have a great day,

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