Symbolic Significance of Rosh Hashanah


This New Year festival is immersed in symbolic significance. Symbolic Significance of Rosh Hashanah will bring out the true essence of the Jewish New Year Celebration. Let us dive into these symbolisms and unravel their interpretations. Symbolic Significance of Rosh Hashanah is of great importance to understand the festival completely. The different things used on the Rosh Hashanah are masked with symbolic interpretations. Let us unfurl them:

Challah

For Rosh Hashanah, the traditional shape of the challah is round. On Sabbath, it is dipped in salt whereas on Rosh Hashanah, it is dipped in honey. This shape symbolizes the complete cycle of life. In some communities, the challah is shaped like a ladder, symbolizing the fortunes of people for the year ahead—some ascend and some descend life's ladder.

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Pomegranate

There are 613 commandments in the Torah for a Jew to fulfill. An individual pomegranate supposedly has 613 seeds. By eating the pomegranate, we figuratively show our desire and hope to fulfill all 613 commandments, and by doing so, we will be able to accrue a nice amount of merit.

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Beets

Beets are called "Salka" in Aramaic, and in Hebrew, that word is related to "removal". We recite, "May our enemies be removed". Notice Jews do not say destroy - they just want them to go away. This is eaten to symbolize the removal of enemies.


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Leeks

This vegetable, called "Karti" in Aramaic, is related to the Hebrew word "to cut". We recite, "May our misdeeds, our spiritual enemies, be cut down." This is symbolic to cut down enemies.


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Type of Green Bean

This vegetable is called "Rubiyah", and comes from the Hebrew word "to increase". We recite, "May our merits increase". This vegetable is symbolic of increasing our merits.


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Type of Squash

It is also called 'Kera,' and this squash is phonetically related to the Hebrew word for 'read' or 'tear'. This symbolizes the following: "May You tear up our negative judgment," or "May You read our good merits before You".


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Honey

Honey symbolizes the duality of life. With immense misery there is deep-seated sweetness and beauty attached to it.


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Fish

Fish is the symbol of fertility and knowledge. Fish spawns copiously, that is why they are seen as a symbol of fertility. Moreover as they never close their eyes, they witness everything, that's why they also symbolize knowledge. During Rosh Hashanah, the fish is placed on the table in such a way that its head in facing towards the head of the family which is a way of saying 'Thank You' and to show appreciation for his leadership.


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Moon

Jewish people are quite like the moon, as they believe that, no matter how dark life may seem but eventually light will emerge. Hence, moon is symbolic of occasional dark phases but will ultimately emerge from it.