when is old not old?

when it comes to clothing?

Last night, one of the young ladies who I started meeting with came up with a good question.  Wait–that’s not to say that the other questions weren’t good; it’s just that I could handle them.  So by this I mean that a good question is one that doesn’t have an easy answer.

The good question in play is should you say shehecheyanu on handed-down clothing?  Okay, let’s break this apart a little bit; not all clothing gets the brachah.  We’re, of course, very spoiled here in the West, and we buy clothing without really thinking about it.  I mean, really, Bnei Yisrael lasted 40 years in the midbar with the same clothing!  So only big ticket items get the brachah; really expensive or important clothes.  Suits are mentioned, surprise.  But again, the halachah may not be updated as much to fit in with the latest fashions or costs…

So I asked ISHI, who said, “That’s a good question.”

He did some digging and came up with if it’s new to you, and it fits into the category of an expensive or important item, then yes, it gets the brachah.    Good to know!

But, of course, I thought of something else.  I wondered why it is that when you are in mourning, you can accept clothing from other people, but you can’t buy new clothing of this particular nature.  So you can’t buy something that you would make a brachah shehecheyanu on.

Do you see the problem?

I asked ISHI; he agreed that it’s a good question.

I’ll let you know what we come up with.

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