Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rosh HaShanah foods


Traditionally, we eat special foods on Rosh haShanah night:

1. We pick foods which have positive double-meanings in their names. For example, some people eat leek, because itsAramaic name - Karti - suggests the destruction of our foes. One may add foods to the traditional list based on their English names and connotations.

2. We also pick foods which are sweet or are otherwise enjoyable, to create a positive feeling for the new year. This is why people dip an apple in honey, and eat the combination.

3. We also eat foods which have portentous characteristics. For example, some eat pomegranate, and liken the many seeds to the many Mitzvot we hope exist in our record.

In truth, one may fulfill all of this by just seeing the fruit, even without eating it, so long as seeing it conveys the same feeling to him.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 583)

(To see why this is not a violation of the biblical prohibition against superstition, see my article, Apples and Honey and Supersition for Rosh HaShanah.)

Have a great day,

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