Simanim On Rosh HaShanah

The Daily Halacha Moment - Simanim On Rosh HaShanah🍏


‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

Why do we eat different Simanim on Rosh HaShanah?

When do we eat the Simanim?


Answer:

Great question!

Bnei Yisrael have a custom on Rosh HaShanah to eat foods that are symbolic of good fortune for the coming year, [1] which should be eaten on both nights. [2] Eating food symbolizes something positive for the new year.

Before eating the Simanim, one should wash his hands and bless HaMotzi. Therefore, when reciting the berachot on the foods afterward, one should not recite the berachot over the cooked foods and the foods that would be eaten during a meal. [3]

Similarly, The food should be held in the right hand, and a regular blessing is recited over it. One takes a small bite of the food and then adds the appropriate Yehi Ratzon. [4]


In a future Halacha Moment, we will discuss the different types of Simanim.


Sources:

[1]. See Gemara Keritut 6a; Horayot 12a. See also Torah Lishmah §31.

[2]. See Eliyah Rabbah §1; Shaarei Teshuvah §1; Mateh Ephraim 600:14; Machazik Berachah §2; Ben Ish Chai; Kaf HaChaim §7; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 96; and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 252, which all state that these foods should be eaten on both nights of Rosh HaShanah. The Ben Ish Chai in Netzavim 1:4 adds that he would eat these foods even during the day seudot, as well.

[3]. See Yechaveh Daat 1:82; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 97; and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 255. This is also the opinion of Rabbi Ben Tzion Abba Shaul in Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 3:3. See also Shemesh U’Magen 3:72, which says that the custom in Morocco was to eat these foods between Kiddush and HaMotzi.

[4].Ben Ish Chai, Netzavim 1:4; Kaf HaChaim §16; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 3:1; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 68; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 253.


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