Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Residents at Oakmonte Village celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a seder


September 20, 2019

On Monday evening, Sept. 30, Susan Bernstein, Jewish Pavilion program director, will conduct the Oakmonte Village seder. The Passover seder is widely known among many, both Jewish and non-Jewish alike. The Tu B’shvat seder, in recent time, has become popular with environmentalist minded Jews. However, the seder for Rosh Hashanah remains a well-kept mystery within our community. Where did it originate and what does it encompass?

The roots of the Rosh Hashanah seder can be found in the Babylonian Talmud circa 300 CE. It was built around symbolic foods chosen for their Aramaic names, which are word plays on the accompanying blessings. The type of food varies but may include figs, dates, carrots, beets, pomegranates, apples & honey, leeks, squash, and the head of a fish. Each blessing begins with the phrase, “Y’hi ratzon mil’fanecha”... May it be God’s will... and ends with a specific wish that relates to the food.

Bernstein will include dates for peace, pomegranates for mitzvot, beans for prosperity, pumpkin for happiness, beets for freedom, a fish head for leadership, leeks for friendship, and apples & honey for sweetness in her seder.

Bernstein encourages seder participants to make up their own creative blessings or even puns to lighten the celebration... Bring out the condiments—“May we mustard our strength so that we can find the time to ‘ketchup’ with family and friends and relish all the little moments in life”. “Lettuce say: ‘I yam an advocate for peas and justice, and olive the strength to remain true to my values.”

L’shanah Tova Umetukah—A Happy and Sweet New Year!


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