Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dip the Persimmon in the Honey

Why not a mango, an orange, or a banana in honey? Apples have deep significance in Judaism. They are used to personify righteous people and to demonstrate our collective devotion to G-d; their colors express three of the sephirot; the star inside the apple stands for G-d’s Holy name; the blush of the apple symbolizes G-d's "smiling cheeks." They’re also good for you! We can safely assume, then, that the choice of apples for the Rosh Hashanah honey-dipping is no mere happenstance.


Honey appears throughout Jewish literature as the epitome of sweetness. While its nutritional make up may be similar to other sweeteners, it’s much denser. It’s the sweetest of the sweet. And yet, it comes from a source that’s not so sweet: bees, which may sting. Honey is also unique because although it comes from a non-kosher creature – a bee – it is kosher.



As we reaccept G-d’s kingship on Rosh Hashanah, we ask that He grant us not only a “good” year, but a “sweet” one too. We ask for a year free of stinging or being stung, for a year when any of our “non-kosher” qualities will somehow produce something sweet. I will certainly be thinking of all that this year as I dip.





Apples and honey have their own connection – without bees we wouldn’t have either. Hive collapse has been a concern since 2006; scientists think they may be getting to the bottom of the problem. http://bit.ly/DyDFS

Pondering which apple goes best with which honey? The research has already been done for you. http://bit.ly/qFJLw

I have a special Rosh Hashanah menu that includes almost every food mentioned in the Talmud (I draw the line at ram’s head). It includes roasted fish with beets, carrot and date salad, leek shepherd’s pie, squash kugel, and of course, honey cake! You might want to try a Sephardic Rosh Hashanah seder: http://bit.ly/o3gvCE

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