Sunday, September 12, 2004

Apples And Honey

Apples and honey are a symbolic part of the Rosh Hashanah meal. The honey represents the wish for sweetness in the coming year. The apple is round, and therefore, a symbol of continuity. It is part of the recognition of the cycle of the year, continuous, yet starting over anew. I would have thought it was because it was a fall fruit. The use of a round challah on the holiday also acknowledges the continuity, with each year starting fresh and clean. As I get older, the holidays sure come round and round faster. You wonder where you will be inscribed for the coming year, life, death, rich, poor, grounded, wandering.
Speaking of wandering, it is fitting that this time of year celebrates the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants, leaving persecution in Brazil. "They were only "23 souls, big and small," exhausted after surviving storms and pirates on the high seas." It has been a long time since they arrived in 1654. But the continuity and hope of the new year, with the opportunity to start over, have
continued all these many years, as started by our ancestors preceding us.