A Sweet New Year – Apples and Honey

One of the traditions for the Jewish New Year,  Rosh Hashanah, is to eat apples and honey.  I looked up these two foods in the Bible to see if they had prophetic allusions to the Feast of Trumpets and the coming ‘Day of Adonai.’

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye —  I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.  Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me” (Zechariah 2:8-9).

The Apple.   Adonai says that whoever touches Israel touches ‘the apple of His eye.’ The ‘apple of the eye’ is the pupil of the eye signifying that God is always focused on His chosen people, their safety, and well-being. 

“Protect me like the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalms 17:8).

Individuals are also protected by Adonai as the ‘apple of His eye’.  Being hidden in the ‘shadow of His wings’ is a reference to the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant whose wings cover His mercy seat.  Being in the ‘shadow of His wings’ symbolizes divine protection especially when there are wars, famines, and pestilences (Psalm 91).

“The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb. Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11).

Honey.  When a Jewish child begins learning Torah in Hebrew school, there is a tradition to place a little honey on the letters of the alef-bet for them to taste.  This teaches the child to understand Torah as ‘sweet to the taste’ making the commandments desirable for living life.  There is great reward in the obeying the commandments and, like honey that never spoils, the rulings of Adonai are righteous and eternal.

Eating apples and honey for a ‘sweet new year’ on Rosh Hashanah is Biblically appropriate for celebrating the ‘head of the year.’  Those who hear the shofar at Yom Teruah and join Israel become the ‘apple of Adonai’s eye,’ understanding the sweetness of His promises in Torah of a coming King to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

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