Rosh Hashanah Symbolic Foods
An explanation of some of the symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah
From various sources
We eat different vegetables, fruits and other foods whose names are an allusion for the good:
- We dip apples in honey to signify our wish for a "good and sweet new year."
- We eat beans (rubiyah) to 'increase' and carrots (mehren in yiddish) to 'increase'-we ask the Almighty for our merits to increase; some believe these indicate fertility and prosperity.
- We eat leeks, which in aramaic are karasai, also meaning 'to cut off'. We ask Hashem to cut off our enemies.
- We eat beets, in aramaic silka, also meaning 'remove' and pray that our adversaries be removed.
- We eat dates, in aramaic tamrai, and we ask Hashem that our enemies be consumed (yetamu).
- We eat gourds (eg. Pumpkin, squash), in aramaic kara, and ask the Almighty to tear (kara) our sentences and proclaim (kara) our merits.
- We eat pomegranates and ask that our merits should be as numerous as the "613" seeds of a pomegranate.
- We eat fish heads with a request to be fruitful and multiply like fish.
- We eat (or at least mention) the head of a sheep with the wish that the Jewish people should be the leaders.