Welcome to a special edition of the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. This
Dvar is taken directly from Jonny Gewirtz' Migdal Ohr, a great free weekly
publication. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, peaceful and productive new
year, filled with growth and prosperity.
* * *
The custom mentioned in the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch to eat various
foods and offer a small prayer with them is quite well known. Apple in
honey is probably the most famous, and is meant to enable us to pray for a
sweet new year. Someone asked, "Why the apple? Because Rosh Hashanah is in
the fall, and apples are in season." It sounds humorous, but it's an
important concept as well. Apples are in season. We are happy with the
things we have, and ask G-d to enable us to taste the sweetness of what He
has given us without looking for more.
The Gemara lists certain items to eat, and the machzor (holiday prayer
book) has many more items. People constantly invent their own such as
eating peas for Peace on Earth, or eat meat (basar) so that we might have
besuros tovos, good tidings. The main thing, says the Mishna Berura, is
not to get angry on Rosh Hashanah (not a good idea any time) and to enter
the new year with a happy heart, and trust in G-d. It would appear from
the Mishna Berura that it's not eating the food that brings the blessing,
but the attitude behind it. So, if someone tips over your raisins and
celery, relax, have a good laugh and enjoy a sweet new year.