Birkat Ha-Ilan: Blessing the Blossoming Trees
The Torah calls the month of Nissan אביב (Aviv) -Spring. It is a time of renewal, where the trees break out of their slumber and blossoms begin to grow. Judaism marks this period with a special blessing that can only be said once a year: Birkat Ha-Ilan -The blessing of the blossoming trees.
The optimal time to say this blessing begins on Rosh Chodesh Nissan and runs till the end of the month. However, it can be said later if the trees have not yet begun to blossom or if one forgot. The tree must be a fruit tree in the bloomingstage, i.e. flowers have begun to grow, but there is not yet fruit. Upon seeing such a tree, one says the following blessing:
Baruch ata Ado-nai , Elo-hainu Melech ha-olam, shelo chisar ba-olamo davar,
u-vara vo be-riyot tovot v'-ilanot tovim, l'-hanot ba-hem b'-nai adam.
"Blessed are You, Lord, Our God, King of the Universe, for nothing is lacking in His universe, and He created in it good creatures and good trees, to cause mankind pleasure with them."So go out and bless a tree, and thank Hashem for one of the miracles Hashem has created!
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