Sunday, 24 September 2017

Shehecheyanu and Yom Tov Candles

Question: I have always said shehecheyanu when lighting my Yom Tov candles. What should I do when my husband says shehecheyanu when reciting kiddush?
Answer: Rambam (Shabbos 29:23) paskens that one should say shehecheyanu every night of Yom Tov except for the seventh (and eighth) night of Pesach.
R’ Yaakov Emden (She’elas Yaavetz 107) writes that while many ladies are accustomed to saying shehecheyanu when lighting, the Gemara (Sukka 47b) writes that this beracha should ideally be said when reciting kiddush. He notes that his own wife said the beracha then and as it can be said at any time over Yom Tov there is no need to prevent women from doing so. Nonetheless, it isn’t the ideal time, and it is best to wait for kiddush to say / hear it.
Thus, while the Mateh Ephraim (581:54, 599:9, 619:4) writes that women should say shehecheyanu when lighting candles, the Mishna Berura (263:23), Aruch Hashulchan (OC 263:12) and R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 44:4) write that it isn’t the ideal time to, though one shouldn’t prevent women from doing so.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 4:101:1) likewise points out that while this practice may have no basis, women have been saying shehecheyanu when lighting for hundreds of years and so should continue doing so if it their practice. On the other hand, R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daas 3:34) writes that we should discourage women from saying shehecheyanu then, instead waiting for kiddush.
R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 14:53), however, writes that all women should be encouraged to say shehecheyanu when lighting. He writes that this is true of sefardim, too, noting that the Ben Ish Chai recorded that this was the practice in Baghdad.
A woman who said shehecheyanu when lighting who later said kiddush must ensure not to repeat shehecheyanu.
There is a machlokes, however, as to whether she should say amen to another saying shehecheyanu during kiddush.
R’ Zvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi OC 1:154) writes that as she has already said shehecheyanu, answering amen now would constitute a hefsek, interruption.
R’ Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Halevi 3:69) writes that answering amen would not be a hefsek on Pesach and Sukkos as while she will have said shehecheyanu upon lighting the candles, the shehecheyanu in kiddush applies to other mitzvos including matza and sukka. Thus, one should say amen only on Pesach and Sukkos.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe ibid; OC 4:21:9) and R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky (Emes L’yaakov OC 263) however, explain why answering amen would not be a hefsek at all, irrespective of what yom tov it was (See Rivevos Ephraim 1:182; 8:182:1).
In conclusion, women should say shehecheyanu when lighting Yom Tov candles, though men who light should only say shehecheyanu when saying kiddush. Women who recite kiddush should not repeat shehecheyanu, though there are different opinions as to whether they should answer amen upon hearing shehecheyanu again. 

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