Wednesday, April 13, 2005

“The flowers that bloom in the spring (tra la)” have something to do with the King

With a tip of the hat to Gilbert and Sullivan, I begin my annual effort to remember the words to that brachah: . . . shelo hisar (?) b’olamo davar . . . l’hanot bahem b’nei adam. Every spring I memorize that brachah—and by the next spring, I’ve forgotten it all over again.

Ah, here it is, straight from the Birnbaum siddur (prayerbook):

“On seeing trees blossoming:
Baruch ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ shelo chisar b’olamo davar, uvara vo b’riot tovot v’ilanot tovim l’hanot bahem b’nei adam.”

Praised [is the One . . . ] Who has withheld nothing from His world, and has created therein good creations and good trees to

Nuts. Even I know enough Hebrew to know that l’hanot is the infinitive form of a verb. “ . . . for the enjoyment of mankind” doesn’t cut it (on either grammatical or feminist grounds).

Artscroll siddur? Zip. Can’t find any miscellaneous blessings in there.

Hertz siddur, with my modern-English edit and without the sexism: “ . . . with which to give delight to the children of the human.”

(Does anybody have a good, non-sexist translation of the word “adam?”)

Praised [is the One . . . ] who has withheld nothing from His world, and has created therein good creations and good trees [with which] to [give] delight [to] the children of the human.”

It’s not that I’m such a literal believer. It’s just that I like to say a prayer of thanksgiving whenever I see the beauties of nature, so that I’ll be more aware of them and not take them for granted.

And the beauties of nature are what I’m seeing right now, all around me.

First came the crocuses, then the daffodils, then the lilacs. Then my husband reminded me to look up—the trees were beginning to bud. Now the trees are beginning to blossom, and I saw my first tulips today.

I love this time of year!!!!!!!!!!

Baruch . . . sheh-kachah lo b’olamo. Praised [is the One] Who has such things in His world.

5 Comments:

Blogger Talmida said...

I think it's Robert Alter who translates adam as the Human (from the humus), but I prefer Earthling from the Earth.

:)

Wed Apr 13, 09:10:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Earthling??!!" You must be a sister science fiction fan. :)

Wed Apr 13, 11:37:00 PM 2005  
Blogger MatzahNacho said...

To give delight to human beings. I just read this blessing in the Daf Yomi, I think yesterday. Amazing how the blessings have for the most part stayed the same for thousands of years.

Thu Apr 14, 09:32:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like translating Adam as "Humanity".

Thu Apr 21, 11:46:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm with Talmida -- I like "earthling," since it links up with "earth" much as "adam" links up with "adamah." Yeah, it sounds science-fiction-y, but I can live with that, being an SF afficionado anyway...

Thu Apr 28, 07:09:00 PM 2005  

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