The Shehecheyanu blessing (Hebrew: ברכת שהחיינו, "Who has given us life") is a common Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions. It is said to express gratitude to God for new and unusual experiences or possessions. The blessing is recorded in the Talmud, indicating that it has been recited for over 1500 years.
The blessing of Shehecheyanu is recited in thanks or commemoration of:
Some have the custom of saying it at the ceremony of the Birkat Hachama, which is recited once every 28 years in the month of Nisan/Adar II.
When several reasons apply (such as the beginning of Passover, together with the mitzvot of matzah, marror, etc.), the blessing is only said once.
It is not recited at a circumcision, since that involves pain, nor at the Counting of the Omer, since that is a task that does not give pleasure and causes sadness at the thought that the actual Omer ceremony cannot be performed because of the destruction of the Temple.
|בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ||Blessed are You, Lord,||Baruch atah Adonai|
|אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם||our God, King of the Universe,||Elohenu melekh ha'olam|
|שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ||who has granted us life and sustained us,||shehecheyanu vekiymanu|
|וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃||and allowed/let us [to] arrive at this Time.||vehigi'anu lazman hazeh.|
Some traditions dictate saying "lizman" rather than "lazman" ("to [this] season"); this follows the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah and Aruch Hashulchan, following Magen Avraham, and is followed by Chabad, but this seems to be a minority usage and is contrary to usual Hebrew usage.
The Israeli Declaration of Independence was publicly read in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948, before the expiration of the British Mandate at midnight. After the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, read the Declaration of Independence, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon recited the Shehecheyanu blessing, and the Declaration of Independence was signed. The ceremony concluded with the singing of "Hatikvah."
Avshalom Haviv finished his speech in court on June 10, 1947, with the Shehecheyanu blessing.
There is a common musical rendition of the blessing composed by Meyer Machtenberg, an Eastern European choirmaster who composed it in the United States in the 19th century.