The Blessing on Trees


Jews are a little obsessed with blessings. We’ve already told you about some weird ones, such as the blessing to say upon seeing strange-looking animals, and also some new and surprising blessings, 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 Nissan (this year Nissan began 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:

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 Hebrew version is here.)

In ideal circumstances, the blessing should be recited on an entire orchard. 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.

The website Fruittrees has compiled an amazing list of publicly-accessible fruit trees throughout different cities in the U.S. and Canada. It doesn’t include every city, but it features a surprisingly wide selection.

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