Why say שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu)?

Why do you think someone might choose to say שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu) when they get something new that they needed? The children in Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st grade) have been exploring this question as a part of our שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu) theme, and there have been all sorts of ideas (and questions!) that have come up in our conversations:

  • Child 1: שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu) is like a bigger, longer thank you.
  • Child 2: It’s not just saying thank you, it’s like being grateful for what you have.
  • Child 3: Do you have to say שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu)?
  • Child 4: It’s good to be grateful for what you have. Even if you didn’t like it, you still have to be grateful for what you have.

Some children in Nitzanim think שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu) is a way to say thank you to the person who gave you the new thing, or maybe to God.

  • Morah: Who do you think שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu) is a thank you to?
  • Child: God. Because he obviously created it.
“This is me and I’m saying thank you to God for giving me a new house.”

Now, we are moving on to explore another time someone might choose to say שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ (Shehecheyanu): after seeing a family member or friend that you haven’t seen in a long time. I know Nitzanim will have lots of interesting ideas to share with each other!

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