Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy New Year & "Shana Tova"

On the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah, after the holiday prayer service, we say kiddush over wine and eat a festive meal. Special Rosh Hashanah food customs have developed over the centuries. We dip a round challah into honey, and say the blessing over the bread. Next we dip a piece of apple into honey and ask for a good and sweet year.

Here are some of the sweet polymer clay creations by some of my friends clayers -

Shana Tova Magnet by Michal Gubi

Shay Aaron Apple magnets -
We eat sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah as a symbol of our wish for a sweet year. In biblical times, honey was the sweetener. Honey also represented good living and wealth. The Land of Israel is often called the land of milk and honey in the Bible.Apple and honey are symbols

Sharon Amir Apple Mobile for "Rosh Hashana" -

How to sculpt bear with honey? here is Nir Shani instructions -

Rosh v literally means "head of the year." Just as our head (brain) directs us, Rosh HaShana directs the ensuing year. On this day, we stock up on sustenance for the year to come. In addition, it is our hope to be the head (leader) of other nations through our righteous acts. For these reasons, it has become a tradition to eat the head of a fish during the holiday meal. Fish is also eaten on this holiday because it is symbolic of fertility and abundance.

Symbolic Meaning of Traditional Rosh Hashanah Food like Round Challah Bread - The round shape symbolizes a perfect year to come. Sometimes raisins or honey are added to make it extra sweet. Here is Anat Shmueli's baguette (close to a Challah ;)

On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, we eat a new fruit which we have not yet eaten this season. When we eat this new fruit, we say the shehechiyanu blessing which thanks God for keeping us alive and bringing us to this season. This ritual reminds us to appreciate the fruits of the earth and being alive to enjoy them. A pomegranate is often used as this new fruit. In the Bible, the Land of Israel is praised for its pomegranates. It is also said that this fruit contains 613 seeds just as there are 613 mitzvot. Another reason given for blessing and eating this fruit on Rosh HaShana is that we wish that our good deeds in the ensuing year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.
Sigal Ben Haim pomegranates -

and Sitar's pomegranate magnets -

and last - nice looking napkin rings for the rosh hashana dinner by Naama Zamir

So i wish you all a Happy New Year from us in Israel - "Shana Tova"!

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