Sunday, November 04, 2007

Purchasing New Shoes

The Mishna had stated: A husband must provide for his wife a kerchief for her head, a belt for her loins, shoes from festival to festival and clothing of fifty zuz from year to year.

Rav Papa asked of Abaye (Kesuvos 65b): Is it logical that the husband should provide for his wife shoes three times a year, but she only receives new clothing once a year? Isn’t having new clothing for the festival more important than having new shoes?

Abaye answered: The Tanna was located in a mountainous region where one cannot possibly manage with less than three pairs of shoes each year (but clothing would last throughout the year), and indirectly, the Tanna taught us that these shoes should be given to her on the occasion of the festival, so that she might derive joy from them.

The Terumas Hadeshen (36) proves from our Gemora that one should recite the blessing of shehechiyonu when purchasing new shoes, for the Gemora explicitly states that the woman rejoices on account of her new shoes.

R’ Yochanan (Brochos 59b) states that a shehechiyonu is only recited when one purchases significant clothing, but there is no requirement to recite the blessing when purchasing socks and shoes since they are not choshuv.

The Rosh (ibid, 9:16) rules that this halacha is only applicable to a wealthy person; however, a poor man would recite a shehechiyonu when purchasing a new pair of shoes, since for him, it is a tremendous joy.

The Rema (O”c, 223:6) quotes from others that one should not say tevaleh v’tischadesh (you should wear out and you should renew) on a new pair of shoes, for it will require the killing of another animal (to get its hide), and it is written: And He is compassionate on all his creations. He concludes that that this reason is extremely weak and not logical, but many people are careful not to say it.


ben said...

it's brought down that sheasah li kol tzarki refers to shoes. Perhaps the idea is that this was prior to Adam sinning, and regarding Adam it says "kol" shatah tachas raglav, implying that even the shoes were under his dominion, but now we have lost that dominion. will research further bli neder.