This holiday represents the Jewish New Year and translates to "Head of the Year" in Hebrew. This specific holiday is special to Jews across the world because it brings families together and sets a fresh, positive new tone for the new year to come. Some foods that make it unique to Jewish Culture are apples and honey, pomegranates, and fish heads. (Lang, 2018)
Apples and Honey
The combination of dipping apple slices into honey is a tradition that has been done for centuries. It's purpose is to represent a sweet, new upcoming year. These food items are also symbolic to this holiday, which celebrates the creation of the world, because of their simplistic and natural state. (Lang, 2018)
This fruit is important to Rosh Hashanah because of the number of seeds in it. They are thought to have 613 seeds in them, which is the number of the commandments in the Torah, the Jewish bible. The commandments symbolize order and direction for the Jewish People, so the seeds and the sweetness of this fruit represent an orderly new year, in addition to a sweet one. (Lang, 2018)
This delicacy is not always served at every Jewish dinner table, but in more traditional or religious households. In these households, fish heads are more often set on the table simply for what they symbolize. Their heads mean the literal definition of Rosh Hashanah, "Head of the Year" and their vast amount in the ocean is meant to represent the hope for a bountiful upcoming year. (Lang, 2018)
This holiday is very similar to Thanksgiving. It comes right after the tragic holiday of Yom Kippur, where Jews are encouraged to fast for twenty four hours, and brings some happiness back into the holiday season. In this holiday, we celebrate the harvest of fruit. We do that by eating various types of fruit and building a hut, called a Sukkah, where we decorate it with different types of fruits as well. One of these common fruits is called an Etrog.
This fruit is very similar to a lemon, in regard to both its taste and appearance. Its sour taste and citrusy smell symbolize a specific type of Jewish person. It represents an individual whom not only abides by the Torah but also aims to practice acts of kindness and good deeds, on a daily basis. The Etrog's uniqueness is special to this holiday because its representation is hoping to inspire Jews all over the world to be just like what is symbolize and follow these two most important practices in Judaism. (Klein, 2016)
This holiday is a very festive one. All of Israel comes to celebrate it in the streets, wearing different costumes. It has a long and amazing story behind it, the story of Queen Ester and the Persian King. This ancient queen represents power and strength to the Jewish Nation, because of her heroic attempts to save the nation from extinction. Some of the foods that we eat during this holiday represent some of the characters in this story, one being the evil, Hamen.
This food item is a common one, sold all over Israel during the holiday of Purim. Its baked shape represents the hat of Hamen, who was the evil right hand of the Persian King and threatened to destroy the Jewish Nation. We eat this dessert to remind ourselves that other enemies will always exist and that we will never again be naive to them. It is also a delicious dessert, that can be filled with a variety of jams and eaten either hot or cold! (Millman, 2014)
Millman, J. (2014, Mar 14). If it's purim in portland, the battle of the hamentaschen is on --- sisters of shaarie torah synagogue defend their holiday pastry turf. Wall Street Journal Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.jpllnet.sfsu.edu/docview/1507139890?accountid=13802
Klein, J. D., Shalev, Y. R., Cohen, S., & Fallik, E. (2016). Postharvest handling of “etrog” citron (Citrus medica, L.) fruit. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 63(1), 64–75.
Lang, C. (2018). The Meaning Behind 5 of Popular Rosh Hashanah Traditions. Time. Com, 1. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.jpllnet.sfsu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,url,uid&db=a9h&AN=131687347&site=ehost-live
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