By Rabbi Mordechai Weiss, Encyclopedia Talmudit

Inauguration of one’s home in Israel is a Mitzvah, as we learn from this week’s portion in which the Torah states when discerning who will go to war, “whichever man who has built a house but has not inaugurated it, should return to his home”. Our Sages derive that this refers to a home in Israel.

The definition of the term “Inauguration” according to “Targum Yonatan”, is that he has not affixed a Mezuzah on the doorpost, while the Radak states that the term is referring to someone who has not eaten a festive meal in it yet.

Some believe that to make it a “Seudat Mitzvah” (a meal that is a Mitzvah), one has to recite words of Torah (“Divrei Torah”), while others state that because it is in Israel , that in itself is a Mitzvah, therefore precluding the necessity of Divrei Torah, however in the Diaspora it would be necessary to recite “Divrei Torah”.

Generally when one would purchase something new, as in a new garment, one would recite the blessing of “Shehechiyanu”. However since in the case just sited it is the individual who is making the blessing for himself, as opposed to when acquiring a home in which generally there are more participants in the acquisition, such as his wife and family, the blessing of “Shehechiyanu” is not recited.

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