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Apple vs Leek

Thursday, 6 September, 2018 - 10:32 am

They say that there are those who have the custom to eat raisins and celery on the night of Rosh Hashanah and to say may it be your will that I should have a raise in my salary.

This is an ancedote based on what it says in the code of Jewish law: 

On [the eve of] Rosh HaShanah, one should observe the custom of eating leek, beets, dates, squash, fenugreek, and any other foods whose name implies increase, in the language spoken locally. The people of each country should eat the foods whose name [leads to such associations] in their language.

Before one eats fenugreek (Rubia) or the like, he should say, “May it be Your will that our merits (Yirbu) increase.” Before he eats leek (Karti), he should say: “May it be Your will that those who hate us be (Kores) cut off.” Before he eats beets (Silka), he should say: “May it be Your will that our foes be (Yistalek) removed.” Before he eats dates (Tamari), he should say: “May it be Your will that those who hate us (Yitamu) perish.” And before he eats squash (Kara), he should say: “May it be Your will that the verdict rendered against us be (Yikra) torn, and our merits be read in Your presence.”

Some people are accustomed to partake of a sweet apple dipped in honey, and to say: “May the renewed year be sweet for us.” A blessing should be recited over the apple, and not over the honey, since the honey is ancillary to the apple.

There are people who follow the custom of eating fish [thereby expressing the hope that] they will be fruitful and multiply like fish. [The fish] should not be cooked in vinegar. - Shulchan Aruch Chapter 583

Most Jews around the world eat the apple dipped in honey and say "May the renewed year be sweet for us". Very few (that I know) eat leek, beets, dates and say the other ones about those who "hate us" or "our foes" etc. 

Perhaps the omission is part of the message for the New Year: 

May this year be a sweet year, one that we do not even need to negate those who hate us.

May this year be super sweet with revealed good for all!

Shana Tova,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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