Sweet Apples and Honey for a Sweet New Year


Dear Rabbi, why is there a widespread custom on Rosh Hashanah to eat sweet apples dipped in honey?



  1. Because it tastes really good!
    (Those of you who are satisfied with this reason may stop reading here!)

    Since we begin a new year on Rosh Hashana, it is appropriate to do acts and recite prayers that indicate our sincere desire for this new year to be a really good one for us. Therefore, there is a custom to take a slice of apple, dip it in honey and eat it. We then say a brief prayer that we should have a good and sweet year.

    Jewish sources list various foods we should eat on Rosh Hashana to symbolically show our “hunger” for a good year. Apple and honey are not mentioned in earlier sources, although generations began the present custom of eating them — based on Biblical and Kabbalistic sources.

    Rosh Hashana literally means the “head of the year.” Just as a person’s body follows the lead of the instructions coming from the head, so too the rest of the year “follows the lead” of how we conduct ourselves on the year’s “head.”

    The staff of Gateways and the AskTheRabbi.Org team wish you all a “good and sweet year” — that you should enjoy much happiness and success in all facets of life!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team