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Rosh Hashana: Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night



Can I say a Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night of Rosh Hashana?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Elul 5779

The blessing shehechianu vehigiyanu lazeman haze is a blessing thanking G-d that we have arrived at the season when a particular fruit is available (eating an apple, available year-round, for the first time does not warrant this blessing). The pineapple plant produces fruit throughout the year, so it is not considered a seasonal fruit. The time of blooming depends on the date it was planted, not on the season. For this reason, it is possible to eat fresh pineapple throughout the year. During the winter, however, bloom encouraging agents (chemical sprays) are required, the fruit is of lesser quality and more expensive, which is why it is not readily available in most supermarkets at this time.

Additional methods of extending sales time for pineapples includes using different strains and imports. Note that today (Elul 5779) it is against the law to import pineapples with their crowns, due to the concern that the base of the crown can carry pests. So if you see a whole pineapple with its crown intact, you can be certain that it grew in Israel. If the crown is cut off, then it most likely is an import.

Moreover, the Rema holds (OC §225:6) that shehechiyanu is not said on vegetables. Acharonim, however (Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and others) rule that it is possible to say shehechiyanu on important vegetables that one is excited about eating (such as watermelon and strawberries). It seems that the pineapple would also be considered an important vegetable. Note that while in the past there was a dispute regarding the blessing over pineapples in general, today it has been determined that the blessing is ha'adama and not haeitz.

In light of the current situation, shehechiyanu should not be said on fresh pineapple.

For more on this topic, see the following article: Shehechiyanu: practical information