The Music of Halacha: Nissan Blessings
Blessed are You Hashem, our God, 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.
We recite this blessing once a year in the spring, or according to the Talmud and Zohar, specifically in Nissan, upon seeing a minimum of two fruit trees in bloom.
There are several points that strike me when I read this blessing:
1. The idea if completion, shleimut, that nothing is lacking.
2. That it clearly states that the purpose of creating good creatures and good trees is to cause mankind pleasure with them.
3. The fact we only recite it once a year in the spring.
4. That this blessing almost seems contradictory to another blessing we recite much more frequently after eating foods that demand a blessing of “Shehakol” before being consumed; i.e.:
Blessed are You Hashem, our God, King of the universe, who creates numerous living things with their deficiencies; for all that you have created with which to maintain the life of every being. Blessed is He, the life of the worlds.
In this blessing we are concentrating on the lackings, whereas on the blessing in question the stress is in the idea of completion.
Let me now share with you my reading of it and how it makes sense to me. In order to do so, I will write the different thoughts as if I were brainstorming with you and then put the thoughts together to answer the original questions.
a. When Adam HaRishon was created, his first commandment was to eat from all the trees of the garden of Eden, except from the tree in the middle of it, the tree of life or some as some read it, as the tree of life and knowledge, of Good and Evil. He was also commanded to give names to all the animals by sensing their essence. The world had been created for man’s enjoyment and pleasure and the mitzvah is to partake from it. By doing so, Adam is giving purpose to the creation of the world and the mission is fulfilled.
b. When Adam & Chava ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they went against the idea of eating from all the other trees in the garden, and eating from that particular tree opened their eyes to their “lackings”, they realized they were naked, they were hiding from God and from themselves.
b. We are all familiar with the discussions Chazal have of whether the world was created in Nissan or in Tishrei. We know the world was created in potential in Nissan, and we celebrate its realization in Tishrei culminating with Rosh Hashana, the birthday of man. So Adam was created in action on Rosh Hashana, which was Friday morning, and Adam had all the potential for pleasure as well as positive commandment and one negative commandment. Going to Nissan is calling upon the idea of renewal, Spring, when the world is being recreated after the death of Winter, when we have the opportunity to acknowledge the potential of the multiplicity of species being brought about in the following months.
My understanding and what I learn from this blessing is that it takes us back to the Garden of Eden before eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It makes us concentrate on the potential that God has placed in front of us for the purpose of our enjoyment. We forget too often that we are supposed to have pleasure in the world God gave us, and to use the world. It is a reminder that our job is to change gears in the way we look at things, and perceive them with the idea of completion as opposed to lackings.
It is taking a fresh breeze of air as we enter Nissan and understand that unless this perspective reigns, we will continue to be slaves inside of our own limitations and barriers (Ben Ha’Metzarim).
So, share with me the wonderful injection of going out and getting an infusion of the potential in the world Hashem created for our benefit, share with me that ability we all have to go above our own boundaries and focus on a “mode” of completion as opposed to deficiency.