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Topical Additions to the Seder Akhilat haSimanim from Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org) for 2020

Hebrew English

If you are doing a Rosh Hashanah seder of simanim (signs, augurs, portents) using food puns, here are some additions related to today (with apologies for any Hebrew mistakes I’ve made):

For healing — the Hebrew root is Resh Peh Alef
Pear (reverse order R-P)?
Persimmon (same, also in Hebrew: afarsimon = reverse the first three letters and you sort of have the words “healing sign”)?
Or maybe: Maple Syrup (R-P in both English and Hebrew)
May it be Your will that we be healed from all illness and plague, r’fa’einu v’neirapei, hoshi’einu v’nivashe’a.

Also for healing — from illness and from racism and from antisemitism — using something you may already have for the RH seder:
Beet (Salka)
May it be Your will that every plague and illness be removed from our bodies, and enmity and hatred be removed, whether it be turned against us or within our hearts
Y’hi ratson mi’lfanekha sheyistalku kol nega v’machlah migufeinu, v’sheyistalku kol ‘eivah v’sin’ah mei’aleinu umilibeinu.

For the climate
Spinach (Tered)
May it be Your will that we awaken from this tardeimah, slumber, to hear the cries and anguish of the Earth, the refugees, the species endangered, and to feel our own separation from world around us, so that we may act!
Y’hi ratson mil’fanekha shenit’or’ru min hatardeimah l’hakshiv el ha’anakah v’hash’varim v’hatza’ar ha’alim min ha’arets, mikol hap’litim, umikol minei hab’riyot b’sakanat hakh’chadah, v’gam l’hargish ko’eiv libeinu meihap’rishut min ha’adamah.

For refugees
Plum (sh’zif)
May it be Your will that all the refugees find safe harbor, sheizava[1] sheizava is an Aramaic word, not Hebrew.  and asylum, and may we open our hearts to their needs.

For racism and Black lives
Radish (ts’non)
May it be Your will that our hearts turn to pursue justice, lirdof (R-D-F) tsedeḳ for all people, so that no group, citizen or police will be able to tyrannize, lirdot (R-D-H) any Black person or person of color, and may the heat of violence and hatred, sin’ah (S is like Ts) be cooled, m’tsunan (Ts-N-N), and all persecution r’difut (R-D-F) be ended.




1 sheizava is an Aramaic word, not Hebrew.

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