What is the earliest source for the custom of dipping an apple in honey on Rosh Hashana?

(It is found in the Tur (Siman 683), the Abudraham (quoted by the Rama there) - believed to be a student of the Tur, and the Maharil (who lived about 50 years later). I am searching for any possible earlier source than these.)

  • 1
    Wikipedia argues that he might be a generation earlier than the Tur en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abudarham
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 4:50
  • 1
    do you mean an apple, honey or the dipping of the apple in honey? the honey might develop from the gemara's (krisus 6) listing of dates (date...date honey...honey) and the apple might be either an extrapolation for the logic the gemara uses to make its list or a utilization of local fruit.
    – rosends
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 13:56
  • Thr Avudraham doesn't actually mention the words Shana Mesuka. At least he doesn't there. The place he does mention these words makes the whole sugya more entertaining. See the end of his Shaar Tekufos, in the name of Ibn Ezra, brought in part in the Darkei Moshe in Yoreh Deah siman 116 #2. If you only check up the D.M. keep in mind that the avudraham equated tekufas tishrei, with the time of year the akeida took place. So even though the tekufa is a couple days after Rosh Hashana, in concept it is connected.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


The honey has been around at least since the times of the Ge'onim; see Otzar HaGe'onim to Rosh HaShanah 32b (p. 53). Footnote ח (ad loc.) suggests that the Agudah had a version of a responsum from the Geonim which explicitly mentioned the custom of apples and honey. Either way, the custom definitely dates back at least to the days of the Agudah, who died in 1349. A small detail though - he says apples and honey, so I don't know if he means apples in honey or if that was just a further evolution of this custom.

  • 3
    The Bach also mentions that Aguda as being in Siman 22. I couldn't find it inside though on Hebrewbooks.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 16:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .