Hilchos Chodesh Nissan – Birkas Ha’illanos


fruit-treeRosh Chodesh Nissan, today, marks the beginning of the season for Birkas Ha’Ilanos – the blessing we recite once a year upon seeing fruit trees in bloom. Men, women and children should make this beracha. The beracha may only be said upon seeing the flower bloom that precedes the growth of the fruit.

In locations where Spring takes place in Elul or Tishrei (e.g. Australia, Argentina, Brazil), [or in a leap year, when trees may begin to bloom in Adar (particularly in Eretz Yisroel)] the beracha may be said in those months.

The text of the beracha is: Boruch atah Hashem Elokeinu melech haolam shelo chisar ba’olamo klum, uvara vo beriyos tovos v’ilanos tovim lehanos bahem b’nei adam.

{Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 226:1, Kaf Hachaim 226, Moed L’chol Chai 1:6, S’V Har Tzvi 226, Shulchan Hatahor 226, Sdei Chemed Vol. 2, Maareches Berachos pg. 265}

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  1. Why is this Brocho only found in Sephardishe Siddurim? (And I don’t mean Nussach Sefard but Sephardi) It is extremely rare to find it in a non-Sephardic Siddur. Even Artscroll does not have it in any of their Siddurim (as far as I know – I haven’t seen all of their Siddurim)

  2. Artscroll has the brachah with the other brachos. Ashkenazim usually only say the brachah but not the tefillos before and after, so for Sefardim it is a seder and not just a brachah. I have seen Chassidim adopt the Sefardi minhag of saying the extra prayers, and I also like to do that – I am chassidish. The nusach of sefardim is “klum” and of ashkenazim is “davar”. Most chassidim say “klum” like the sefardim but some say “davar” like the ashkenazim

  3. Just wanted to bring something to your attention- at this time of year there are many flowering trees blooming that are ornamental and do not bear fruit that is edible for human consumption. I live in Brooklyn, and this is extremely common in my area, but can be found all over the Northern parts of the US, and Canada (I am not familiar with trees of Eretz Yisrael and Europe). People have been seen reciting the Bracha upon seeing these beautiful trees, which is not correct. What may make it confusing is that these non-fruit bearing, flowering trees are referred to as flowering CHERRY or other fruit, like the famous flowering Japanese cherries in D.C.. When you wish to recite the Bracha, please make sure to find a genuine fruit tree!


    1) One who sees fruit trees that are beginning to bloom, in the [beginning of the] month of Nissan, or at any other time when it’s the season for the trees to bloom, recites the following Bracha: Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Shelo Chisar B’Olamo Klum U’Vara Vo Beriyos Tovos V’Ilanos Tovos (or “Tovim”; See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 60:1) Lehanos Bahem Bnei Adam- Blessed are You Hashem, Our G-d, Master of the Universe, who ensured that nothing is lacking in His world and Created in it good creations and good trees in order to pleasure mankind with them. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 226:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 1. See also Aishel Avraham Butshatsh that only in Nissan may the Bracha be recited with Shem U’Malchus. However, the prevalent Minhag is to say the regular Bracha as long as the tree is still in the blooming stage, even if this is past Nissan. See Chayei Adam Klal 63:2 and Aruch HaShulchan 226:1 regarding climates where the blooming season is not in Nissan (e.g. Australia or South Africa). See also Shu”t Har Tzvi Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 118 and Shu”t L’Horos Nosson Vol. 5 Siman 7)

    2) Preferably this Bracha should be said on two or more trees [in a field]and not on a solitary tree. However, if it was recited on a solitary tree it is acceptable. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 226:2 and Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 191. The prevalent Minhag is indeed to say it on a single tree)

    Women are obligated in this Bracha just as men are. ( See Shu”t Har Tzvi Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 118 and Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 12 Siman 25 for the reasoning behind this and why it isn’t considered a Mitzvah She’Hazman Grama, as it is seemingly a time-bound Mitzvah)

    3) Some people have the custom after reciting the Bracha on seeing blossoming trees to add additional Mizmorim of Tehillim and other texts praising Hashem for the trees.

    Some people try to say this Bracha with other people, as a group.

    Some even have the custom to give Tzedakah before reciting this Bracha.

    Each person should do as their customs dictate. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 226:7 and 8. See also Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 10 Siman 16)

    4) This Bracha may only be recited once a year, and according to some Poskim only during the daytime (Mishna Berura 226:3. See also Shu”t Har Tzvi Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 118 and Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 12 Siman 20:6)

    The Bracha on seeing a blossoming tree should ideally not be recited on Shabbos, as we are worried that one will touch the tree and/or pluck a branch from it, as well as for Kabalistic reasons (which we will discuss tomorrow B’Ezras Hashem).

    However, if it is seen on Shabbos and it will be the last opportunity to recite the Bracha, it may indeed be recited according to many Poskim. (See Kaf HaChaim 226:4 and Shu”t B’Tzel HaChachma Vol. 6 Siman 37. See also Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 26 footnote 72 and Shu”t Yechaveh Da’as Vol. 1 Siman 2)

    5)The Bracha on seeing blossoming trees is only recited on fruit trees, and only when the buds/flowers are seen in the early stages of blooming, and not on trees where only leaves are seen and not on trees where the fruit has already completely developed. (See Mishna Berura Siman 226:2 and 4. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 53:4)

    If one saw such a tree and did not recite the Bracha, it may be recited at the next opportunity. ( Mishna Berura Siman 226:5 and Sha’ar HaTziyun S”K 3. Some Poskim, including the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 60:1 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 226:9 and 10 rule that if it wasn’t recited upon seeing it the first time, it is no longer recited at all. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi ibid.)

    6) According to the Sifrei Kabala, reciting this Bracha, is a big Tikkun (spiritual repair) for the Neshamos that are hovering between the two worlds as Gilgulim (reincarnated souls) in the barks of trees, and it’s important when saying this Bracha to have in mind to bring heavenly mercy onto these hovering souls and allow them to be freed from their pain and allow them to return to their place in Olam Haba (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 end of Siman 191 and Kaf HaChaim 226:8. The Kaf HaChaim 226:4 goes so far as to give another reason for this Bracha not being said on Shabbos, as doing so will be “Borer”, separating the “sparks of Kedusha” of the Neshamos from the trees!)