Sunday, April 02, 2006

Blossoms and Birds

This month of Nissan, one may make a special blessing upon seeing fruit blossoms. To see the bracha - Birchas HaElanos - "The Blessing of the Trees" - click here (English), (Hebrew). One should make the blessing when seeing fruit blossoms - preferably two or more. It is the time of the year when many of the trees blossom. Earlier today I took part in saying Birchas HaElanos with a few other people from the local (synagogue). It was a very worthwhile experience. I would recommend that one find a commentary on this blessing to get a better understanding of what they are doing.

As we know from Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), each part of creation has a very important part to play in the world. It is the person, however, who has the ability - the spiritual and physical make-up - in order to combine all the songs of each of the 84 parts of Creation mentioned in Perek Shirah, thus acting as a messenger for these parts of creation.

After reciting Birchas HaElanos this morning, I saw a beautiful orange bird. In Perek Shirah, there are 17 different birds. 17 is the gematria (numerical equivalent) of the Hebrew word "טוב" - "good". Torah is also referred to as "טוב". Just as birds continuously praise HaShem by singing their songs, we too can learn from them. Our life should be devoted to HaShem, whether by learning Torah,
Tefillah, involving ourselves in (prayer), and always making sure to act in accordance with the Torah.

Take advantage of what we can learn from all aspects of Creation and take some time out of your day to say Birchas HaElanos:

ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם, שלא חיסר בעולמו כלום וברא בו בריות טובות ואילנות טובות ונאות כדי להנות בהן בני אדם

"Blessed are You, G-d, our G-d, King of the Universe,

Who left nothing lacking in His world,

and who created in it good creations and (specifically) good trees

for human beings to enjoy (benefit from)." (Translation courtesy of OU website)


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