Tonight we will be celebrating the New Hebrew Year, ROSH HASHANAH – 5,781 and for this upcoming New Year we would like to share with you the following insight:
There is a custom on the night of ROSH HASHANAH to eat different symbolic foods, which resemble and represent certain qualities, with which we bless each other to be fulfilled for the New Year.
One of the customs is eating apples dipped in honey
and blessing each other with:
Y’HI RATZON MIL’FANEKHA ADONAI ELOHEINU VE’E’LOHEI AVOTEINU
SHE’T’KHADEISH ALEINU SHANAH TOVAH UM’TUKAH.
May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors that you renew for us a good and sweet year.
One may ask:
Why specifically do we eat apples dipped in honey?
We could just have either an apple or honey as a symbolic food representing sweetness.
Is there anything unique and specific about dipping an apple in honey?
Well, first of all let’s see if there is something common or rather different between the sweetness of an apple and the sweetness of honey.
An apple is a fruit, which grows with a natural swiftness in it.
Honey, on the other hand comes from a bee – an insect that is not only forbidden to eat (it is not Kosher), it also might not be very friendly and actually sting.
Nevertheless the honey that it produces, is allowed to be eaten, despite the fact that it is produced by a non-Kosher creature.
And…, honey is very, very sweet.
In fact, honey is sweeter than an apple!
Similarly we may give a thought to the types of swiftness in our lives.
There are two types of sweetness in our lives: we have successes in our professional careers, we have times of family celebration, we have personal achievements, etc.
These are sweet times like the apple is sweet.
But then there is a different type of sweetness – a sweetness that comes after experiencing rough times – times of challenge.
Sometimes we feel being “stung”, when we are unsuccessful in reaching our goals, when our careers go down the hill, when, when we feel alone and our relationships are being strained.
Sometimes, we fail to see the light at the end of the long dark tunnel.
But if we are strong and withstand the difficult times, and overcome the obstacles to our happiness, we reveal layers of our personality that we would never have tapped into if we weren’t challenged.
We have all experienced events in our lives that at the time were painful, but in retrospect we feel a special sweetness, which we would not be able to experience without those rough times!
Therefore we eat apples and honey on the first day of the New Hebrew Year.
And we bless each other and ourselves that the year to come should bring natural sweetness – similar to that of an apple, and what we should be able to overcome any rough times, which should eventually turn into sweetness similar to honey, which is even stronger than that of an apple!
For those of you who were not able to participate in the “Get Together” with Orly, Yoel and Ulpan-Or staff, here is the link to the Power Point presentation to find more about unique Hebrew words and expressions associated with Rosh Hashanah.
We hope that Hebrew is one of your resolutions for this New Year and are here for you or for anyone else you may know to help.
To learn more about our very special offers for the New Year regarding Ulpan-Or’s GDL – Guided Distance Learning programs, please contact our office at:
Wishing you and your loved ones:
A Happy and Sweet New Hebrew Year
SHANAH TOVAH U’METUKAH