10 April 2016

Bless the Budding Fruit Trees During Nisan

3 Nisan 5776

This post is dedicated to my mother, Rivka bat Nazira, on the occasion of her Hebrew birthday, which was during the day today. May she merit to make aliyah to the place of her mother's birth, as this is the desire of her heart.

Pomegranate (rimon) blossoms - CDG

 Starting today (which was the 2nd of Nisan during the day - and only because Rosh Hodesh was on Shabbat), Jews get the privilege of going out among the fruit trees blossoming here in our precious homeland and blessing them - especially in Israel!!!

Once a year, in our alternate New Year (the other, more usual one, we call Rosh haShana, which occurs in Tishrei), is this done. While it is preferred to give the blessing as soon as possible after Rosh Hodesh, it may be done all month. Last year I believe I did it during Hol haMoed Pesah because I didn't have time to do it earlier; this year, I took time today to bless them early!

Lemon (limon) blossoms - CDG

 As my Rav from the States, Yeshuah Toledano, zz"l, used to say, the month of Nisan is the nation of Israel's birthday: Not the state, but the People. This is the month we were taken out of Mitzrayim (not modern Egypt, but the nation that was there back then), from slavery to the Egyptians to obedience to HaShem, our G-d...

Cherry (duvdevan) blossoms - CDG

...and from the land of Mitzrayim (double-constriction) to the land of beauty, goodness and spaciousness, Eretz Yisrael (we did have to conquer it back from the Kana'anim first; and, today, we have made it so hard for ourselves that I think Yehoshua bin Nun would be ashamed.).

And, by the way, these trees were not growing while the Jews were gone from the land! These very kinds of fruit growths, among others, were the very first sign of the impending return of the Jewish People for the Complete Redemption, as the prophet Yeshayahu says (35:1):

א יְשֻׂשׂוּם מִדְבָּר וְצִיָּה וְתָגֵל עֲרָבָה וְתִפְרַח כַּחֲבַצָּלֶת

1 Desert and wasteland shall rejoice over them, and the plain shall rejoice and shall blossom like a rose havatzelet.

Havatzelet: neither rose nor lily, but its own group of flowers, native to Israel. Look them up and find more (in Hebrew of course)!

Continue to read this short chapter (10 p'sukim) and you'll see the inevitability of the nation of Israel possessing this land, and no other. We are even called the Redeemed of Zion!

The Birkath haIlanoth (Blessing of the Fruit Trees) goes as follows:

ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם, שלא חיסר בעולמו דבר ,וברא בו בריות טובות ואילנות טובים ליהנות בהם בני אדם
Transliteration: Baruch Ata Ado-nai, E-loheinu, Melech Ha'olam, shelo hasair b'olamo kloom, ubara bo briyot tovot v'ilanot tovot, leihanot bahem b'nai adam.

Translation: Blessed are You, G‑d, our Lord, King of the Universe, that His world is not lacking anything, and He created in it good creations and good trees for the pleasure of mankind.

May this Nisan, 5776, be the month we see the beginning of open Ge'ulah Shlemah that has been so awaited and longed for!


Today's video (really, it's audio with the album cover on the video portion) is a long-playing record (Yes, shudder if you like...if you listen to the whole thing, you deserve it! A small part of it is pretty poor due to skipping and scratches. This album was never put on CD as far as I know.) my mother had when I was a child of perhaps 3 or 4 years old. Every song on it has memories for me! I apologize to the men among my readers who do not listen to women singing — it features Geula Gill, a Temanit (Yemeni)-Israeli songstress with a multifaceted career since the 1950s.

The song most relevant to this post is "Yesusum" — the words, which are from Isaiah 35:1 and skip down to the 2nd half of v. 6, are to be found at 21:08. I have to transliterate because Blogger isn't cooperating with Hebrew right now...

Yesusum, yesusum midbar v'tziah
V'tagel, v'tagel, tagel aravah
V'tifrah, v'tifrah k'havatzelet
V'tifrah, v'tifrah k'havatzelet

Ki nivke'u bamidbar mayim unehalim ba’arava
Ki nivke'u bamidbar mayim unehalim ba’arava

Isaiah 35:6b translates: For water has broken out in the desert and streams in the plain.

More reading:

Ilan, Ilan | Tel Shiloh on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Nisan | On Herut (Freedom/Obligation) | Pesah Matters, part 1: Definition of Hametz | Pesah Matters, part 2: Coverings, Cucumbers and Gebrokts | How to Kasher for Pesah: Kashrut.org |


DS said...


I absolutely loved your post: it really resonates with me. Guess what I was doing all day today? Working in my lovely fruit garden in K.A.: I have, already growing: figs, grapes, walnuts, plums, apricots, apples, peaches, sweet almonds, bitter almonds, mulberries, strawberries... and barley and wild oats, with rimonim, lemons - I hope - , olives, pine nuts, blackberries, black raspberries and sabras, not far behind, B"H. I felt so blessed, so complete with this garden. Thank G-d for this amazing plenty. And thank you for this lovely post, I didn't know there was a special brachah to say for the fruits in Nissan, thanks for the enlightenment.

Happy birthday to your mother, and happy birthday, Am Yisrael!

אורנה ניצבת. דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים said...

Mazal tov ve amen!!!
And DS, sounds like Gan Eden!