Jewish Holidays Jewish Life

The month of Nisan: A time to bless the fruit trees

Ideally, the blessing should be recited on an entire orchard or at least two trees

Jews are a little obsessed with brachot — blessings. Besides the usual slew of brachot, we say brachot for all sorts of odd things — like the bracha one says upon seeing a strange-looking animal — or interesting occurances — like the blessing for donating blood.
One particular blessing, cited in the Talmud (Berakhot 43b), is the blessing recited over flowering fruit trees. It’s meant to be recited once a year, at some point during the Hebrew month of Nisan (which began this year on March 24 and will end on April 22).
The requirement for the blessing is simple: Find a fruit-bearing tree with flowers in blossom. Look at it, and recite the following:

Blessed are You Lord our God, Ruler of the universe
Who did not leave anything lacking in Your universe,
and created in it good creatures and good trees,
to give pleasure to humankind with them.

The transliteration of the Hebrew blessing:
Ba-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-nai Eh-loh-hei-noo melech ha-olam sheh-lo chee-seir b’olamo k’loom oo-va-ra bo b’ree-yot toh-vot v’ee-lah-not toh-vot lei-ha-not bahem b’nei ah-dahm.

Ideally, the blessing should be recited on an entire orchard or at least two trees. However, if you live in a city (or you just can’t find a plurality of flowering fruit-blooming trees around), it’s fine to recite the blessing on a single tree – but the blessing is not said over trees that grow fruits that are grafted from two species. And, if the trees are blossoming until the following month of Iyar, it is permitted to say the blessing at that time.

B’nai Mitzvah

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