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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays The Month of Nissan

What Is Birkat Ha-ilanot, the Blessing on Trees?

Rabbi Stewart WeissNissan 3 5781
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Rosh Chodesh Nisan marks the start of the season for saying Birkat Ha-Ilanot, the bracha said upon seeing fruit trees in bloom (as stated in Brachot 43b). This is one of only 4 brachot said by all Jews just once each year! The Bracha: B.A.A.E.M.H. shelo chaser b'olamo klum, u'bara vo briyut tovot v'ilanot tovim, layhanot bahem bnei adam (Blessed is G-d; nothing is missing from His world; He created good things such as trees, so that Man might benefit from them). Ideally, we say this bracha when first seeing fruit-bearing trees flowering in Nisan; but the bracha may still be said for as long as the fruit has not yet ripened. A "hidur (enhanced) Mitzva" is to say the bracha on 2 or more trees together, with a minyan. But a single person may also say it, on a single tree. Women should also recite this bracha, which can be said either day or night, weekday or Shabbat/Chag. Many have the Minhag to say the bracha on the 1st day of Chol HaMoed Pesach.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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