Beyond a Shadow Rav Aryeh Finkel July 29, 2021 Q We often picnic in a…
Rav Aryeh Finkel
July 1, 2021
Q Our baby is due to be born during the Three Weeks. Should I refrain from reciting the bracha of shehecheyanu for a girl or hatov vehameitiv for a boy?
A The Shulchan Aruch (551:17) writes that the bracha of shehecheyanu is not made during the Three Weeks. This is because the words vehigianu lazman hazeh (and He made us reach this time) are not appropriate at the saddest time of the year (see Aruch Hashulchan ibid. 38). The problem is not that a celebratory bracha should not be made during this sad period, only that those particular words aren’t appropriate, so hatov vehameitiv may be recited (Sha’arei Teshuvah).
The Shulchan Aruch rules that if a shehecheyanu opportunity like a pidyon haben comes along, one should recite it and not wait. But the Mishnah Brurah (ibid.) says that if you see a new fruit during the Three Weeks you should wait until Shabbos to eat it, because shehecheyanu may be recited on Shabbos. It would seem that in your case you should preferably wait until Shabbos to recite the bracha, because it may be recited for as long as one still feels the joy of the birth (see Mishnah Brurah 223:3).
However, the poskim explain why pidyon haben is different from a new fruit: The obligation of shehecheyanu comes at the time of the pidyon haben, so it should not be postponed, but although one may say shehecheyanu upon seeing a new fruit, the obligation comes only when he eats it. For this reason the poskim rule that in your case, you should say the bracha when you see the baby, because your obligation comes at that time (Piskei Teshuvos ibid.).