When seeing two trees in bloom during the month of Nissan, one says a once-a-year bracha known as birkat ha-ilanot. This year, Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbat. I understand that some say, according to kabbala, that the bracha is best not said on Shabbat.

What is the normative halacha regarding saying it on Shabbat? Is the idea of not passing over a mitzva relevant here?

  • What is "normative halacha"?
    – Lee
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 12:53
  • 1
    Because their Halakhah is ruled in accordance with the Qabbalah. Nevertheless, for those who don't rule strictly in accordance with the Qabbalah, the general principle is as the RaDBa"Z.
    – Lee
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 13:04
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    Just say it today! It doesn't have to be in the month of nisan
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 13:37
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    @mbloch for someone concerned about ein maavirin, you sure are pushing things off on small concerns. We're in the springtime aka yemei nisan
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 13:40
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    @mbloch "I always heard of it as a 'Nissan thing'" That's why you were predisposed to accept those opinions instead of realizing that it's a misconception and "nisan" is Orcha DeMilta Nakat. Sure perhaps most people have this idea that it's nisan only, but the dominant traditional halachic opinion is not like that. If a Rav tells you to wait till Nisan, ask him what happens if it's already Iyar.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Qiẓur Shulḥan 'Arukh - Yalqut Yosef (Oraḥ Ḥayim 226:13) states (my translation):

מותר לברך ברכת האילנות בשבת ויום טוב, ואין לחוש ולגזור פן ישכח ויתלוש מפרחי האילנות בשבת. אלא שלכתחילה מהיות טוב יש לברך ברכת האילנות בימות החול, כשאין חשש שיפסיד הברכה, אבל בסוף חודש ניסן כשיש חשש שלא יראה יותר אילנות של מאכל עם פרחים, אין להימנע מלברך ברכה זו בשבת. [ילקוט יוסף, ח''ג דיני ברהמ''ז וברכות עמוד תרכ. ודלא כהאור לציון שחשש משום בורר הניצוצות, שכבר כתב הרדב''ז דגמרא וקבלה הלכה כהגמרא].

It is permitted to recite Birkat HaIlanot on Shabbat and Yom Tov, and we do not suspect that one will forget [that it is Shabbat or Yom Tov] and will pluck flowers from the trees. Nevertheless, ex ante facto it is best to recite Birkat HaIlanot on a weekday if there is no concern that one will forget to recite the blessing altogether.

But, at the end of the month of Nissan when there is a concern that one will not see any more flowering fruit trees, one should not avoid reciting the blessing on Shabbat [or Yom Tov]. [... And not like the Or LeẒiyon who was concerned about correcting reincarnated souls [on Shabbat and Yom Tov] for, as the RaDBa"Z wrote, "when the Gemara and Qabbalah are at odds, the Halakhah is like the Gemara"].

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