Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adapting Old Traditions to New Times - Dipping the Apple in the Honey

Tonight is the eve of Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish new year.  Services begin tonight at sundown, then continue tomorrow, and Friday.  Rosh Hashana is the holiday, along with Yom Kippur, ten days later, that even Jews who rarely attend synagogue observe.

One of the traditional customs of Rosh Hashana is to dip pieces of apple into honey as a symbol of a sweet new year.  From the Baltimore Jewish Times:

The most popular [tradition] is, of course, dipping apples in honey. Here’s the story behind this delicious activity:

The honey is all about sweetness, of course.

The apple was selected because of its abundance throughout the ancient land of Israel. The Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic and kabbalistic literature all mention—and praise—the apple, an honor accorded no other fruit.

When the apple is dipped in the honey, this pronouncement is recited:

“May it be Thy will O Lord, our God and God of our fathers, to renew unto us a good and sweet year.”

Of course, this being about Jewish customs, everyone will give you a different interpretation of the origin of the custom.

But this year, thanks to Deb's post on Facebook, I have learned about a slight adaptation of this custom.  Even if you are not Jewish, you should watch this video.

1 comment:

  1. May all the many ways we celebrate a 'new year' be sweet! Myself, I would like my new years to start 1 March (as someone who lives in the northern hemisphere). (smile)


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