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Temple Israel of Scranton

Temple Israel of Scranton

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One of my very favorite brakhot

Posted on April 9, 2021

From the Rabbi’s Desk

One of my very favorite brakhot is the one said only once a year when the trees begin to flower and one sees at least two flowering trees together.  The ideal time for this blessing is the month of Nisan, though of course it depends on where you live. When we lived in North Carolina the trees would begin flowering in February and we would say the brakhah early. This year Jeffrey and I have been scouring the neighborhood for two flowering trees since Nisan began and on Wednesday I finally found them — two magnolias, blooming in Hanlon Grove in Nay Aug Park.  We got to say birkat ha’ilanot, the blessing on flowering trees. And it is still Nisan. And then yesterday when I went walking I saw many flowering trees. 

Here are the words, in case you have trees blossoming near you. Enjoy!

Baruch atah A’, our God, sovereign of time and space, who has designed a world that lacks nothing and who has created within it beautiful creatures and beautiful trees, for people to enjoy.  Barukh atah A’ Elokeinu melekh ha’olam, shelo hiser b’olamo davar, u’varah vo briyot tovot v’ilanot tovim, l’he’anot ba’hem b’nai adam.  בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא חִסֵר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ דבר, וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבים לֵיהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם


Spring has sprung! The weather is good and the flowers and the trees are blooming. I would welcome the opportunity to see you in live person. Let’s arrange a time to take a walk together. (We can both get those daily steps in.)  Alternatively, I would be happy to arrange a porch visit, on your porch or mine. I have always wanted a home with a front porch, and now I have one.  Let’s get to know each other better. 

Thank you to everyone who has let me know that you are enjoying a particular program or service!  One of the biggest challenges for me this year of COVID has been running services and giving sermons in an empty room with no idea of how my words and approaches have been received. With warmth and eagerness, I want to encourage you to share feedback with me, positive feedback and constructive criticism both. I would like to hear what resonates with you and what does not, what you find meaningful, and what you would like to see more of. Or less of. I would like to know if you thought about my sermon past the few minutes of hearing it. Thank you.