Saturday, March 10, 2012

ברכת שהחיינו על מצות מתונת לאבונים

On Purim morning as I was walking to shul for shacharis (netz minyan...see prior post) I was approached by an individual asking for money. I wasn't sure what the appropriate reaction should be:

On Purim we are required to fulfill four mitzvos; krias megilah, seudah, maatonos leavyonim and mishloach maanos. At the time of birchas shehacyinu which we say on krias hamegilah one is supposed to have kavana that the bracha whould be chal on the other three mitzvos also.

If I would give this individual money and thus be mikayim my chiuv of matonos leavyonim, the brocha of shehaciunu later wouldn't be chal-le'maphraya on my tzedakah I had already given. But if I withhold from giving the tzedakah I may be oivur on the chiuv of Purim of kol haposhat yad nodnim lo.

Therefore the solution I decided upon was to call over two adim and declare "with this mitzvah I am not being mekayim my mitzvah of matonos levoyim".


  1. What is the purpose of 2 eidim? Why can't you just give money and simply have in mind not to be mekayem the mitzvah of matanos le'evyonim?

    1. The reason why you need 2 eidim is becaouse maybe when you come to shamayim, there might be a kapaida that you did matonot laevyonim without the brocho from megilla

    2. Thank You. That's an interesting answer. I always thought that eidim are only needed in beis din shel matto. But in beis din shel maalo the "Av Beis Din" is bochein klayos and doesn't need eidim to establish the ameeto shel davar.

  2. you can make the brocho shehechiyanu with intention even for just one mitzvah i.e seudas purim! (see laws on saying shehechiyanu in shulchan oruch)
    it is a mitzvah derabonan to say shehechiyonu yet a mitzvah de'oirayso to give tzedoka! therefor of course you give tzedoka first! aside from the fact that it is not a chiyuv to say shehechiyanu, rather an added bonus you get! if you are not truly thankful to g-d for reaching that moment you may not make the blessing. so, therefore, even if giving the money would have taken away from your shehechiyanu, you did a mitzvah for a poor man, and lost the extra zechus of saying an optional shehechiyanu.
    btw see musar and chassidus for proper approach to these ideas, the derech you approach can substantially improve through these studys


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