Tag Archive for: Rosh Hashanah

Apples and Honey – My Wish for You

Apples and Honey – My Wish for You by Debra H. Goldstein

For more observant Jews, today
is the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Reform and many conservative practitioners
concluded celebrating the holiday last night. Besides its celebratory new year’s
translation, Rosh Hashanah is also referred to as the Day of Judgement or Day
of Remembrance because it is the first day of ten that Jews review their
relationship with God and reflect on their actions during the past year. For on
Rosh Hashanah one’s fate is determined and inscribed in the Book of Life, or not,
but that fate is not sealed until the end of the ten days when the most
important Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, is observed.

Other than Yom Kippur,
which is a day of fasting, most Jewish holidays have food traditions associated
with them. Rosh Hashanah is no exception. On that day, we dip apple slices into
honey as a way of expressing our hope for a sweet new year.  Traditional commentators have said that this
practice represents the Shekinah, the feminine side of God, and our belief she
is watching us and evaluating our behavior of the last year. We eat the apples
and honey hoping the evaluation will be kind – touched with sweetness. Another
viewpoint is that the apples are eaten because of their association with health
and healing.

I like to embrace the
first interpretation. As my family says a blessing thanking God for the apples,
eats the apples and honey, and concludes with a final prayer asking God for
renewal and blessing in the new year, I take stock of my many blessings.
Family, friends, health, and the ability to follow my passion are not lost on
me. I am well aware of those devastated by wicked turns in life, ravaging
storms, and major disappointments.

Although many of you
reading this are not observing my holiday, I cannot help but take this moment,
as I partake of apples and honey and observe my family doing the same, to wish
all of you a year of apples and honey.