Rosh Hashanah is like the last picked kid in Dodgeball when it comes to Jewish holidays. It's not really ever thought of. People often don't do anything for it besides wishing all their Jewish friends on Facebook "a sweet new year." But my whole life I have had soft spot for this holiday.
Perhaps it's because in high school, I'd drag my family to services in the morning and afterwards we always would get BBQ food. Trust me, in Judaism, going to services followed by eating food immediately never happens. So Rosh Hashanah always felt different. It's cheerful. It focuses on the future, not the past. It's just such a happy occasion. I guess I found other like-minded folks who wanted to usher in 5777 with food, wine, appropriately themed boardgames, and an adorable apple themed tablescape.
A friend let me know that he wanted to know more about the symbolism of the foods specifically eaten for Rosh Hashanah. So here is Jewish New Year 101:
Pomegranates- they originate from the Middle East and one of the oldest fruits, so people think it was eaten in the garden of Eden not the apple. Some Jews believe each pomegranate has 613 seeds each, which is the same amount of good deeds in the Torah. And lastly and probably the most logical, the pomegranate is a new fruit, which is a custom to eat on the second day of the holiday.
Round Challah- once again there is never one answer in Judaism. One explanation for the round challah eaten on Rosh Hashanah versus eating a braided challah is that the circular shape reflects the continuing cycles of years and seasons. Another thought is that perhaps the spiral reflects in the new year, we need to reach upwards and rise up.
Apples and Honey- it's a wish for a sweet new year! Try dipping challah in honey on this holiday. So tasty!
All photos were taken by incredibly talented friend, Czar Yarcia!