What is the Significance of the foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah,now i know the gemara brings them down but why did the Gemara choose these particular ones also the apple in honey whats the significance of that I know sweet year but why apple and why Honey and not Sugar?


Honey instead of sugar is simply a minhag. Sephardim don't typically use honey and instead use sugar. The apple is cooked in sugar by sephardim(Sefer Ben Ish Hai Year 1 Parashat Nizzavim 4).

  • Really, no Honey at all, I always thought it had something to do with Eretz Zavas Chalav udvash? – SimchasTorah Sep 3 '10 at 12:42
  • Is there any significance to the foods the Gemara brings down? – SimchasTorah Sep 3 '10 at 12:48
  • Um, they were foods available 1500 years ago in Iraq that had Hebrew or Aramaic puns? (At the pshat level. It's certainly possible there's something deeper going on.) – Shalom Sep 3 '10 at 13:23
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    The devash spoken of there is date honey, not bee honey. – Rabbi Michael Tzadok Sep 3 '10 at 13:31
  • Doesn't the Gemara ask that question (what kind of honey is the land flowing with?) with regards to the question if bee honey is kosher? – Shalom Sep 3 '10 at 13:45

They didn't have refined sugar in Talmudic times. In fact, as Rashi points out, "Dvash" could in some contexts simply mean anything sweet.

  • RAshi exactly Where? – SimchasTorah Sep 3 '10 at 12:43
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    Vayikra 2:11, "kol mesikas pri karuy dvash." I believe "kol minei mesika kruyin dvash" occurs in Rashi on Shas as well, but can't place it off-hand (maybe in Arvei Pesachim?) But regardless -- they didn't have refined sugar in Talmudic times. – Shalom Sep 3 '10 at 13:04
  • Woops I slipped usually I reference Tanach by English names: Leviticus 2:11. – Shalom Sep 3 '10 at 13:04
  • I thought that they had beet sugar and granulated date sugar. – Rabbi Michael Tzadok Sep 3 '10 at 13:32
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    @mekubal, my impression was otherwise. (Acc. to wikipedia, beet sugar didn't happen until the 1500s.) I'm not sure what they were doing with dates in the time of the Talmud (paste? Juice?). But there's a reason that the word "sugar" in Hebrew is its Latin cognate -- ancient Hebrew had no word for it, only "dvash" for anything sweet. – Shalom Sep 3 '10 at 13:44

Summary Of Matzav ANswers to Signifigance of Apple and Honey 1.Maharil-Yitzchok smelled an apple orchard when Yaakov to receive the Brachos. The Vilna Gaon in the Biur HaGra says that this happened on Rosh HaShanah.

  1. The Ben Ish Chai says apples give three pleasures Smell, Appearance and Taste which correspond to three Brachos we’d like to receive Bini (Chidren and Nachas from Children), Chayai (Life/Health) and Mezoni (Wealth).

  2. The Zohar says wine symbolizes Din or judgment. Apples are eaten after strong wine in order not to be harmed by the strength of the wine since Rosh HaShanah is a time of Din we eat apples to sweeten the judgment.

  3. Rosh HaShanah we want Hashem to remember the ashes of Akeidas Yitzchok. The ashes accumulated on the mizbei’ach are called Tapuach or apple.

  4. “Tapuach” has the same gematria as “Piru V’Rivu” and “Dvash” has the same gematria as “Isha”. Rosh HaShanah is a special time for barren women to be remembered by Hashem and blessed with children. We therefore eat Tapuach B’Dvash.

  • Another one (related to #3): תפוח is the same gematria as שה עקידה - the lamb for the Akeidah. – Alex Sep 12 '10 at 2:40

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