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Smelling Fragrant Spices

From the Itim Institute

Some people follow a custom to pass around fragrances, myrtle or rosemary leaves, mint leaves, cinnamon sticks or cloves. The fragrant spices symbolize life, love, and renewal. It is advisable to bring a large quantity of spices so that it will be possible to pass them around to all your guests in a short time.

Upon smelling the fragrant spices the blessing is:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְּשָׂמִים

Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam boreh minei b'samim.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, the creator of spices.

If the spice is a plant, then the blessing is instead: 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא עִשְׂבֵי בְּשָׂמִים

Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam boreh isvei b'samim.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, Lord of the Universe, who created sod spices.

After smelling the spice, some recite:

 וְהָיָה לְךָ לַמֵּשִׁיב נֶפֶשׁ

V-hayah l-kha la-meyshiv nefesh.

 "And this child shall be to thee a restorer of thy life," based on the verse in Ruth 4:15.

 

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