Q. I have a very dear childhood friend that married and moved away to a close by town. About six months ago, he contracted Covid and became very ill for months, but B’H he recovered completely and is coming to visit his parent for Rosh Hashana. I invited him for the second night of Rosh Hashana. Can I make the blessing of Shecheyanu we usually recite on a new fruit now on him?
A. Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 225: 1) rules that if one has not seen a friend that is very close and dear to him for thirty days, he should indeed recite the bracha of Shecheyanu. However, Mishna Berura (ibid.) and most Poskim maintain that this bracha is not recited anymore in our times.
Nevertheless, some Poskim rule that if the friend was seriously ill a blessing could be recited. (See Piskei Teshuvos 225: 2: n. 20, 21). Following their opinion a brocho could be recited.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that it is better to recite the brocho on a fruit and have the friend also in mind
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a