Bless the trees!

Every year, I think I’m going to fulfill the very simple mitzvah of saying the “Birkat HaIlanot,” the blessing said on flowering trees that do not yet bear fruit. It’s just a simple matter of walking to one of the houses in the community that has identified its trees correctly and has posted instructions and the blessing for the ease of passersby. Not a big deal, right?

But this mitzvah is done only in Nisan… and three guesses what I and all my fellow Jewish homemakers are up to our eyeballs doing. Invariably, the month passes, and I simply didn’t get around to it.

This year, as I was doing some errands in the Ben Yehuda area of Jerusalem — yes, I do my banking in the holiest city on the planet! — I happened to walk a slightly different route, and discovered something very precious. Just off Rav Kook street is a pleasant little alley where the blessing was posted near a couple of flowering trees!

After I got home to Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion, feeling very self-satisfied indeed, I discovered that our landlord had also posted the blessing near the flowering trees in our very own yard.

When it rains mitzvah opportunities, it pours.

(This essay originally appeared in the blog “Ki Yachol Nuchal!“)

Ruti Eastman

Posted by Ruti Eastman

Ruti Eastman fell in love with Israel on her first visit, but had to wait 16 years to make aliyah in 2007. She writes about her adventures in Israel, as well as about the family history she wants to capture for her children. She has worked variously as an editor, teacher, artist, radio disc jockey, US army soldier; but her favorite job description is "raises crops of boys." Ruti writes at "Never Ruthless" and her book of collected essays is due out in 2017.

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