Yom sheni, 12 Nisan 5769.
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.
In the English translation of the Modim of the Rabbis that is said during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, we say "[We thank you] for inspiring us to thank You." I have always loved that passage. Many times throughout our day, the prayerbook inspires us to show G-d appreciation for the many gifts He gives us that we might otherwise take for granted.
One of those prayers is said only once each year, upon seeing fruit trees in bloom.
Even though this special prayer was also available to me in Chutz l'Aretz, it feels even more special to say it in this very holy place. Please let me share some of the local Gush Etzion beauty with you.
We had a few guests drop by, as the weather started to warm up. A couple of them even posed for photos.
And, of course, some of the greatest beauty is the Jewish people and their love for the mitzvot... such as cleaning every inch of their homes for Pesach.
Thank you, Borei Olam, for this beautiful Land, and for all of the lovely, colorful flowers and the interesting creatures and the fine and holy people that fill it.
Thank you most of all for friends with whom to share Your wondrous creation.
Chag Pesach sameach v'kasher l'kulam!
Haveil Havalim #211 is posted at Ima's place. She calls it "The Preparing for Pesach Edition." There is some fun stuff in there to take your mind off of your scrubbing and cleaning... or to focus you more intently. Take a break. You deserve it!
Modim: acknowledgment, gratitude, admission
Shemoneh Esrei: prayer with "eighteen blessings (plus)" said three times daily
Chutz l'Aretz: everywhere outside of Israel
Mitzvot: commandments, elevated deeds
Borei Olam: Creator of the world
Chag Pesach sameach v'kasher l'kulam!: Happy and kosher Passover to everyone!