Before Rosh Hashanah starts be sure to dip your iPhone into honey for a sweet year and after Rosh Hashanah 2nd Day go out and get a Kosher Cell phone.
From chabad.org Rosh Hashanah Eve Meal
Rosh Hashanah Seder According to Ashkenazi Custom
Before starting the Rosh Hashanah meal, we sanctify the holiday by reciting the kiddush over a cup of wine or grape juice. Click here for the Hebrew text of the kiddush.1
|Rosh Hashanah foods consist of the basic foods mentioned by Rabbi Abaye: pumpkin, the specific type of bean-like food called rubiyah (such as fenugreek, chick-peas, black-eyed peas, string beans, green beans, and aniseeds), leeks, beets or beetroot leaves, and dates. However, over the centuries, additional foods have been added to the Rosh Hashanah meal, with the type of food or foods added differing depending on the Jewish community in a given country. Foods that have been popular additions to the Rosh Hashanah include: apples and honey, challah pomegranates, figs, carrots, Swiss chard, other gourds besides pumpkin such as squash; scallions, spinach, zucchini, whole cloves (as a spice), sesame seeds, and sugar (instead of honey when used with apples). All the aforementioned Rosh Hashanah foods are known as “simanim” in Hebrew, meaning the “symbolic foods” of Rosh Hashanah.
Ashkenazi Jews usually serve the following foods at their Rosh Hashanah festive meals: chopped liver, brisket or roast turkey (usually stuffed) or roast chicken, lokhshen kugel (“lokhshen kugel” means “noodle pudding” in Yiddish), matzo balls (usually chicken soup or vegetable soup with matzo balls), tzimmes or tsimmes (usually a sweet carrot, prune, and raisin compote, but sometimes containing meat as well), gefilte fish (“gefilte” means “stuffed” in Yiddish, symbolizing the hope that the upcoming year will be filled with good omens), coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, eggplant, specific cooked vegetables that support the themes of Rosh Hashanah such as sliced carrots and string beans, and sponge cake or honey cake. Challah bread dipped in honey and wine are also used in the Rosh Hashanah.
Sweet dates are served to symbolize the wish that the New Year will be equally sweet. After reciting the yehi ratson prayer (below), most Sephardim eat the dates as they are. Some Moroccan Jews add a gourmet touch. They dip the dates in a mixture of ground sesame seeds, anise seeds and powdered sugar. (Apples are also dipped in this mixture). Interestingly, “yitamu”, which sounds like “tamar”, the Hebrew word for date, is introduced in the yehi ratson in a sense that gives this word another meaning. “Yitamu hata’im” literally means “May the wicked of the earth be removed.”
As we eat this date, may we date the New Year that is beginning as one of happiness and blessing, and peace for all men. Blessed are Thou, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.
Every pomegranate, it is said, contains exactly 613 seeds, precisely the number of mitzvoth, Biblical commandments Jews are obliged to fulfill. As they eat this fruit, Sephardim pray that their lives during the coming year will be filled with as many good deeds as the pomegranate has seeds.
In the coming year, may we be rich and replete with acts inspired by religion and piety as this pomegranate is rich and replete with seeds.
The apple’s roundness symbolizes a hope that the New Year will be joyous from the beginning until it goes full circle. Dipping an apple in honey expresses a wish for a sweet New Year.
May it be Thy will, Lord our God, God of our father, to grant us a year from the first day to the last, goodly as the apple and sweet as honey. “And Nehemiah said to them, go, eat rich dainties and drink sweet drinks, and send portions to him to has nothing ready, for today is holy to our Lord. Grieve not, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Food made with pumpkin is served to express the hope that as this vegetable has been protected by a thick covering, God will protect us and gird us with strength. The Hebrew word for pumpkin or gourd is “kraa”. Sephardim pun on this and say “yikaru lefanekha z’khuyoteinu,” May our good deeds be called out before the Lord at the time of judgment.
“May the coming year grow as a gourd in fullness of blessing. In the year to come, if enemies gird at us, mayest Thou guard us as we eat of this gourd with the prayer: Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who createst the fruit of the earth.”
“Kartee” is the Hebrew word for leek. In the yehi ratson, Sephardim say “yikartu oyvekha,” May all of God’s enemies be cut off. This pun in English on “leek” probably evokes more chuckles than any other double-entendre in the yehi ratson ceremony.
Like as we eat this leek may our luck never lack in the year to come.
Sephardim generally perform the yehi ratson with spinach or Swiss chard, although the leafy part of the beet may also be used. In English translation, the stress is on our desire to “beat” those who intend to do us harm. “Silka” is the Hebrew word referring to the greens mentioned above. The verse that begins “yistalku oyvekha” also expresses the wish that the enemies of the Jews will be removed.
As we bite this beet, may those who in the past have beaten us or sought our harm beat to cover in the coming year.
“Rosh Hashannah” literally means head of the year. The sheep or fish head symbolizes the hope that each of us will be at the head of whatever we do, rather than at the tail end.
Rosh Hashanah meals often include apples and honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. Various other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served, depending on local minhag (“custom”), such as cooked tongue or other meat from the head of an animal (to symbolize the “head” of the year).
From aish.com Symbolic Foods
On Rosh Hashanah, we eat foods that symbolize good things we hope for in the coming year. We contemplate what these foods symbolize, and connect with the Source of all good things. Here is a list from the Talmud of symbolic foods customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah. (The food and its related meaning are written in capital letters.)
You can also use other foods and make up your own “May it be Your will…” For example, eat a raisin and celery, and ask God in the coming year for a “raise in salary” (raisin celery)!
From chabad.org Rosh Hashanah Seder According to Sephardic Custom
On both nights of Rosh Hashanah, a number of foods are eaten to symbolize our prayers and hopes for a sweet new year. Many of these foods were specifically chosen because their Hebrew names are related to other Hebrew words that convey our wishes for the coming year.1 An accompanying prayer is recited, expressing our wishes inherent in these words and foods.2 Recite each prayer while holding the particular food in the right hand, immediately before it is eaten.
Before Rosh Hashanah, gather the following items:
After chanting kiddush, washing, and breaking bread, the following foods are eaten:
Dates. Related to the word תם—to end.
Take a date and recite:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ
After eating the date, take another one and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּתַּמּוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that there come an end to our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us.
Small beans. Related to the words, רב—many, and לב—heart.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.)
Take some white beans and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ זָכִיּוֹתֵינוּ וּתְלַבְּבֵנוּ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that our merits shall increase and that You hearten us.
Leek. Related to the word כרת—to cut.
Take a leek and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּכָּרְתוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that our enemies, haters, and those who wish evil upon us shall be cut down.
Beets. Related to the word סלק—to depart.
Take a beet and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּסְתַּלְּקוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us shall depart.
Gourd. Related to the word קרע—to rip apart, and also קרא—to announce.
Take a gourd and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתִּקְרַע רוֹעַ גְּזַר דִּינֵנוּ, וְיִקָּרְאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ זָכִיּוֹתֵינוּ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that the evil of our verdicts be ripped, and that our merits be announced before you.
Take the pomegranate and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁנִּהְיֶה מְלֵאִים מִצְוֹת כָּרִמּוֹן
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that we be filled with mitzvot like a pomegranate [is filled with seeds].
Apple and Honey.
Dip an apple in honey – some have the custom of using an apple cooked with sugar – and say:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתְּחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה כַּדְּבָשׁ
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that You renew for us a year good and sweet like honey.
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁנִּהְיֶה לְרֹאשׁ וְלֹא לְזָנָב
May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that we be a head and not a tail.
(The following is added only over the head of a ram:
וְתִזְכֹּר לָנוּ עֲקֵדָתוֹ וְאֵילוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק אָבִינוּ בֶּן אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ עַלֵיהֶם הַשָּׁלוֹם
…And You shall remember for us the binding and the ram of our forefather Isaac, the son of our forefather Abraham, peace be onto them.)
|How to put together your Rosh Hashanah seder:
Swiss chard latkes – Get the recipe here.
Dates – Simply serve plain dates, or if you can get fresh yellow dates (available in September at many Middle Eastern stores) you can chop them into green salads.
Haricots verts – Mix with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until tender.
Squash – The traditional Mizrahi and Sephardi way is to fry chunks of pumpkin or squash and serve it dipped in sugar. You could also mix butternut squash chunks with honey, olive oil and kosher salt and roast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, or until tender.
Pomegranate – You can either serve the seeds plain or try this recipe for pomegranate and roasted beet salad (two blessings in one dish) or this recipe for tilapia and pomegranate ceviche (again, two blessings in one, the fish and pomegranate).
Apple Jam – An Iraqi tradition. In a large bowl, mix 2 pounds of red apples with 1 pound sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom. Cover and let sit overnight. The next day, transfer to a pot, bring to boil, remove foam, and cook on low heat until very tender. Add juice of one lemon at the end. Keep in the fridge.
Leek latkes – Excellent with or without meat. Those are hard to resist, especially hot straight out of the pan, so hide them well until dinner.
An unusual Rosh Hashanah custom—which is actually mentioned in the Talmud and in other halakhic codes—is making puns on foods. No, the Talmud doesn’t tell us we should make puns; R. Abaye says that each person should eat at the beginning of the year certain foods that have a symbolic significance. But it turns out that the significance the Talmud cites is based on some adroit wordplay—in Aramaic (b. Horayot 12a). We know about the custom of eating pieces of apple dipped in honey, which is symbolic of the hope for a sweet new year. After Nehemiah read the Law to the assembled people on Rosh Hashanah, he sent them home with the advice to “Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet…” (Neh. 8:10). Taking the idea of symbolic foods a little further, the Talmud enjoins us that on Rosh Hashanah night we should eat foods whose names suggest good things for the future. The examples the Talmud mentions would not make much sense to us since they are, of course, in Hebrew and Aramaic, but this idea could certainly be extended to whatever language we speak.
To get into the mood, consider these examples. One may eat an avocado in the hope that God might be our advocate, or the thought that “I will pare away my sins in this new year” could be accompanied by eating a pear. But let us not take this too far: “Lettuce look forward to a wonderful year” might be going over the edge. But restraint wasn’t apparently on the mind of one well-known rabbi, who commented that perhaps eating a raisin with a celery stalk could certainly express the hope for “a raise in salary” (attributed to Rav Moshe Heinemann of Baltimore). But more on this later.
There are many celebratory activities that take place at Rosh Hashanah, and many of these take place at the festival table. Not only do we dip apples in honey; it’s traditional to have honey on the table during the festive meals and dip the challah in it, instead of salting it as is done during Shabbat and all other festivals. The Rosh Hashanah challah is different, too. It is round, to signify the cyclic nature of the year. Some even bake raisins into their challah, perhaps again to enhance its sweetness. In some communities the holiday challah may be formed into the shape of a five-runged ladder; the ladder, Hebrew: sulam, in gematria (study of the mystical relationship of words and numbers), has a value of 130, equal to the name “Sinai.” The symbolism refers to Moses’ ascent of Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah, and also to the ascent of prayers to heaven. Another view of the ladder symbolism is a prediction of how people will fare in the coming year—those whose fortunes ascend and those whose fortunes decline.
Many of us are familiar with some or even most of these food customs. But do you know the reasons that underlie these customs? Let’s look at some Rosh Hashanah food customs. The first three are common, but the ones that follow are less so. Much less common. Remember what I said above about puns? Keep that in mind when reading about some of these foods.
Eating a new fruit, that is, one that has just come into season or that the family has not eaten in some time, like several months, is a custom that is observed on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, so that one has an additional reason for reciting the sheheheyanu blessing over something new.
One food that is avoided during Rosh Hashanah is nuts. No nuts. Why? According to gematria, the Hebrew for “nut,” egoz, is equivalent to the word for “sin,” chet. But if you try it yourself, and add up the numerical letter values, you’ll find that egoz = 17 but chet = 18. So what’s the problem with nuts, or didn’t the mystics who did this calculation know how to add? Nothing like that—one of the primary gematria tricks (we would call it fudging) was to assign the comparison word itself a value of one, so that the gematria in both cases is 18. if you don’t buy that argument, consider that on Rosh Hashanah we don’t even want to come within shouting distance of a sin, and 17 is awfully close to 18. So just skip the nuts for two days.