Now that winter is behind us (hopefully!), and we have put our sledges away until next year, we enter the next season - the happy season of spring. This is a season of blossom and colour. One can walk along the street and one can already see those pink and white buds o those trees that are starting to bloom.

The Jewish custom is not to take anything for granted. To this extent the gemara teaches us that from the Rosh Chodesh of Nissan (this Tuesday), when one sees a fruit tree beginning to sprout buds, one should recite a blessing that extols Hashems ongoing renewal of creation

. The bracha reads: Blessed are you Hashem, our G-d, king of the universe, for nothing is lacking in his universe, and he created in it good creatures and good trees, to cause mankind pleasure with them.

The basic laws concerning this blessing is as follows: The preferred time to recite this blessing is immediately upon seeing a fruit tree on bloom during the month of Nissan, since generally that is the month in which the trees begin to blossom. Even if one saw the tree but never had the chance to make the blessing, one may recite the blessing at a later date, but not after the trees start producing fruit. One should not recite this blessing on a barren tree.

If one did recite the blessing on a barren tree, one need not repeat the blessing on a fruit tree.

Lastly, the bracha may only be said once a year.

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