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Ask the rabbi Halacha Praising Brachot and Brachot on Sights

Fresh cut grass

Question
Thank you for your website. Do we make a bracha of the wonderful aroma of fresh cut grass? Tizku l’mitzvos
Answer
ב"ה Shalom I would imagine that since many people live in countries where there are big lawns and grass cutting is very common, and the scent can be felt all around, that this would be a more commonly asked question and found in rabbinical literature. However, being that it seems not to be the case we have to explore into some of the details or the bracha on "besamim" = aromas/spices. The Shulchan Aruch ( Orach Chaim217) speaks about a person who walks into a spice shop. A person must make a blessing only if the spices are lying there for people to smell and buy them. (Mishna Brura #1). However, if a person were to walk to the spice maker's home where he also has spices filling the air, since the intention there is not for them to be sold, a person should not make a Bracha, unless taken in this person's hand which indicates intention to smell. It seems this would be the case, on walking on the street smelling cut grass. Nobody cut the grass with the intention of people to smell. ( I believe there are many people who don't even enjoy the scent and there are probably some people who are even allergic.) Therefore, upon smelling the aroma of cut grass, you should make the bracha only if you take some cut grass in your hand. All the best and Shabbat Shalom
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