Chapter 59: 1-3
Shehecheyonu and Hatov V'hameitiv
1. The following rules apply when a person hears favorable tidings from a
reliable person who witnessed the matter or when he, himself, saw the
matter. If the matter benefits merely the person himself, he should recite
the blessing shehecheyonu. If it benefits others together with him, he
should recite the blessing: Boruch Attoh A-d-o-n-o-i E-l-o-h-e-i-n-u Melech
ho'olom hatov v'hameitiv. (Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the
Universe, Who is good and who does good).
Hatov (who is good) implies benefit received by the person himself;
v'hameitiv (and who does good), benefit received by others, as well.
If one cannot recite this blessing when he sees or hears about the matter
because of the state of his body or the place he is located, he may recite
the blessing afterwards. This law also applies to the blessing dayan ho'emes.
2. A person must also bless G-d, blessed be His name, for the bad [as
implied by Deuteronomy 6:5]: "And you shall love G-d, your Lord, with all
your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." Berochos 60b
interprets that verse:
"with all your heart" - with both your inclinations, the good inclination
and the evil inclination (i.e., as explained above in Chapter 31, [one must
be infused with the love of G-d] even when he is involved with worldly
matters, fulfilling [the instruction of Proverbs 3:6] "Know Him in all your
"with all your soul" - even if He takes your soul;
"and with all your might" - with all your money;
alternatively, the Hebrew, uv'chol m'odecho, rendered as "and with all your
might," can be interpreted to imply an obligation to acknowledge G-d for
any measure He metes out, whether it be a measure of kindness or a measure
Which blessing should he recite? Upon hearing bad tidings, he should recite
the blessing: Boruch Attoh A-d-o-n-o-i E-l-o-h-e-i-n-u Melech ho'olom dayan
ho'emes. (Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe, the true
A person who hears a number of different tidings at one time, whether good
tidings or bad tidings, can include them all in one blessing.
A person is obligated to bless [G-d] for the bad with full intention adn a
willing soul, just as he blesses Him for the good, as [implied by Psalms
101:1]: "[For] kindness and for justice, I will sing to You, I will praise
G-d" - i.e., for kindness, I will sing to You, and for justice, I will sing
to You (Berochos, ibid.).
The servants of G-d, blessed be His name, regard evil with happiness and
consider it to their favor, for they accept everything which G-d, blessed
be His name, decrees upon them with love and faith to Him, realizing that
everything leads to atonement for their sins. Thus, by accepting this evil,
one serves G-d, and that service brings him joy.
3. If something good happened to a person or he heard good tidings, even
though it appears that ultimately the matter will cause him harm - e.g., he
found a lost object; however, if the king hears about it, he will
expropriate all his property - he should, nevertheless, recite the blessing
Conversely, if something bad happened to him or he heard bad tidings, even
though it appears that ultimately the matter will benefit him - e.g., his
field was flooded and his grain ruined, even though when the flood passes
he will derive benefit, for his field will have been watered - he should,
nevertheless, recite the blessing dayan ho'emes. [The principle is that]
one recites a blessing for the present situation and not for what will be
in the future.