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Why Do We Specifically Dip an Apple in Honey on Rosh Hashanah?

Why Do We Specifically Dip an Apple in Honey on Rosh Hashanah?


One of the primary reasons why we use an apple is because of its sweetness. Coupled with the added sweetness of the honey, it is symbolic of the ultra-sweet year we hope G‑d will grant us.

I suppose, however, that you are asking why the apple was specifically chosen from all other fruits that are also sweet—why not, say, a peach or a mango dipped in honey?

The apple symbolizes Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden), which according to the Midrash has the scent of an apple orchard, and in Kabbalah is called “the holy apple orchard.” When Isaac commented regarding his son Jacob, “Behold, the fragrance of my son is like the fragrance of a field, which the L‑rd has blessed” (Genesis 27:27), the biblical commentator Rashi explains that this refers to the scent of an apple orchard, the scent of Gan Eden.

Furthermore, when Solomon depicts the love G‑d harbors for His nation, he writes (Song of Songs 8:5): “Beneath the apple tree I aroused you[r love].” Eating an apple on Rosh Hashanah is an attempt to remind G‑d of our age-old love.

Find out why we:

Eat round Challah on Rosh Hashanah

Eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah

Eat a fish head on Rosh Hashanah

Eat interesting foods in general

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson is a writer who lives with his family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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yitzhak December 6, 2017

apples are not indigenous to the area, and genesis does not specifically cite the fruit of the tree of knowledge as being an apple tree. it sounds like the idea of it being an apple tree came from a european source. Reply

Pamela Bairnsfather Shreveport, Louisiana September 28, 2017

The stories of the apple reminds me of the statement, from the Almighty , that Israel and her people are " The apple of G_d's eye. Reply

Mary Lucas September 14, 2017

That makes perfect sense, because G-d's tender love and mercy is sweet like a double portion of sweetness to the soul . Reply

Anonymous Germany September 13, 2017

We Beginn the New year with a Sweet and Lucky rosh Hashanah at the 20.9.2017 5777 Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, MA September 13, 2017

Song of Solomon: A secret language/ a secret code The word for apple in French is pomme. It might not have been an apple, but we do use apple as the designator for the fruit in the garden of Eden. There is in the red fruit, Pomegranate, the echo of pomme. Honey is about the bee. We say, life is about the birds and the bees. Might echo then, the word to be, as in bee, and also how it is, that sting and the honey. A beautiful song, in Hebrew, about this, sung at my son's bar mitzvah. Life is surely both, and that taste of honey has multiple dimensions, because sweet is often in life so bittersweet. Might notice the bittersweet in our gardens comes in so many colors. We can say human, and then there is hue man, something that does echo through our lives. The sorrow and the pity, and then, how we rise together to heal, as in Tikkun Olam. It's no sin to sing, and yet for so long, many fundamentalist religions for bid this, as in sin in sing itself. That byte of the Cosmic Apple, so we could be fruitful and multiply. Hashem wrote this Story Reply

Anonymous Australia September 13, 2017

Just put your iphone in Honey then you ll have a Apple in honey Reply

Margaret Wilson Chicago September 13, 2017

Interesting article. I was fairly sure the apple was chosen because of its connection to the Garden of Eden but the rest of this gave me new food for thought.

Thank you. Reply

Michal Christel Evenari Tittling September 13, 2017

We remind God of our age-old love? I think He is the one who loves us all the time? We have to arouse our own awareness that
it is so. Reply

Tina BRILL Afton September 13, 2017
in response to Michal Christel Evenari:

Absolutely. Thought the same thing. Reply

Michele New Zealand September 13, 2017
in response to Michal Christel Evenari:

Amen! That's right. His steadfast love endures forever - ours is the love which waxes and wanes. Love your comment and the explanation of the apple tradition. Thank you. Reply

Peter Australia September 13, 2017

So do i just dip my IPhone ( apple) in Honey 😆😎 Reply

Korina Nadel September 14, 2017
in response to Peter:

Lol Reply

Anonymous Germany September 13, 2017

A Sweet and Lucky rosh Hashanah wish Ilona Schweiger Swarovski Reply

Hazel Michigan September 13, 2017

Why Do We Specifically Dip an Apple in Honey on Rosh Hashanah? Thank you for the explanation Reply

Adele September 13, 2017

Wow. Did not know that. The apple blessed specially. Now I understand that eating an apple a day takes the doctor away. Reply

Anonymous Australia September 13, 2017
in response to Adele:

Oh deary Do u really eat your Iphone every Day Reply

Anonymous September 11, 2017

Do you have to eat honey? I seriously do not like honey. Is there something else I could dip it in? Reply

Aryeh Ohayon Houston September 13, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I use date syrup as it is not from a non kosher animal but from a tree. Also, the narrative in the story of Gan Eden was about a fig, not an apple. Reply

Malca Chaviva Indonesian September 11, 2017

Thank you for the excellent explanation. Now I understand why apples chosen specifically to dipped in honey. Reply

Wendy schottenstei Jerusalem October 7, 2016

From rosh hashana till after succot my family has challah with honey instead of salt. Over rosh Hashanah we ate with a family (sephardi) that used just salt and and another that first used salt and then honey Reply

Mark Willis Avondale September 24, 2014

Rosh Hannah Interesting Reply

Jean Indianapolis, IN September 18, 2014

Apples "The Zohar writes that the apple is singled out to describe the connection of G-d and the Jews because it is excellent in color, aroma and taste."

Menachem - one of the other things about apples is that they come in all sizes, shapes, several colors (from gold to a ruddy brown), have complex flavor combinations and can survive in many different environments. So similar to the Jewish people! Reply

levi rapoport ny September 18, 2014

NOT the tree of knowledge " The apple symbolizes Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden)" lets clarify that all opinions agree that the tree of knowledge from which Adam and Eve ate was NOT An apple Reply

Anonymous NYC September 11, 2017
in response to levi rapoport:

How can "all" opinions agree if the Apple already symbolizes the actual garden. Plus, the "aroused love under a tree" can also mean it was the fruit. How are you so sure it was not an apple if you don't exactly know which fruit it was. Reply

Anonymous Australia September 13, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Could it have been my IPhone oh no Reply

Aryeh Ohayon September 13, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

It was a fig tree in Gan Eden, not an apple tree. Multiple sources can be cited for this, including Sefer Beresheit itself. Reply

Anonymous near Utah, USA via September 17, 2014

Very interesting Penny and Menachem Reply

Anonymous September 15, 2014

This is great. Touches all depths of meaning. Thank you! And thanks for the round challah explanation in the discussion section, too! Reply

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