JFK Airport - Terminal 4, Room 461.037, Jamaica, NY 11430
(718) 656-5044

Chaplain's Messages

Rosh Hashana Message

While the High Holiday period is well associated with fervent prayer and meditation, there is another surprising focus as well—FOOD. Tradition has us dipping an apple in honey, eating carrots, pomegranates and other foods, and reciting a prayer over each. (Orach Chaim 583)

This ritual is referred to as SIMANIM, meaning signs, and has a very deep significance: Firstly the transgression of Adam and Eve involved consuming a forbidden fruit—an apple by some commentaries—which changed the world order. Furthermore, teaches Reb Shlomo Carlebach, the first day of Rosh Hashana is linked to our matriarch Leah and the second day to Rachel. It was the giving of SIMANIM from Rachel to Leah that was the paragon of sacrifice and love. A non-verbal gesture SIMAN is a far more profound sign exchanged by those in love. So too we blow the shofar, a non-verbal exchange between us and the One we love.


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