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סֵדֶר סִימָנִים לְרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה – שִׁכְתּוּב אַנְגְּלִי שֶׁשּׁוֹמֵר לָשׁוֹן־שֶׁנּוֹפֵל־עַל־לָשׁוֹן | Order of Simanim for Rosh haShanah — an English paraphrase that preserves wordplay, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Many communities have a custom of reciting “simanim” on the night of Rosh haShanah — invocations on a series of foods punning over their Hebrew or Aramaic names. This is an assortment of common simanim, along with English loose translations that preserve the punning aspects of the foods. The final one listed, unlike the others, was written in English first, and adapted to Hebrew.

Note: “The CAUSE” is used to translate the Divine Name YHVH, based on the philosophical idea of God as the Prime Mover and on the interpretation of the Name as a causative form of the copula – “causes to be.”


Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

עַל הַתַּפּוּחַ וְהַדְּבַשׁ
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ׃
 
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁתְּחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה כִּדְבַשׁ׃
On the apple and honey
Blessed are You,
CAUSE our God,
Sovereign of Eternity,
creator of the tree-fruit.
 
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that you renew us a year that is good and sweet like honey.

עַל הַתָּמָר
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּתַּמּוּ שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ׃
On the date
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that you set the date for the end of antisemitism.

עַל הָרִמּוֹן
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁנַּרְבֶּה זְכֻיּוֹת כְּרִמּוֹן׃
On the pomegranate
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that we multiply our righteousness like a pomegranate’s seeds.

עַל רֻבְּיָא
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה׃
 
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ זְכֻיּוֹתֵינוּ׃
On the black-eyed peas or fenugreek
Blessed are You,
CAUSE our God,
Sovereign of Eternity,
creator of the ground-fruit.
 
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that Your blessed guidance of peace is a source of a new great year.

עַל כְּרָתַיָּא (כְּרֵשָׁה)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּכָּרְתוּ שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ׃
On the leeks
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that antisemites’ dark secrets be leaked.

עַל הַסֶּלֶק
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּסְתַּלְּקוּ שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ׃
On the beets
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that antisemites get beat in elections and removed from power.

עַל הַגֶּזֶר
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁתִּקְרַע רֹעַ גְּזַר דִּינֵנוּ׃
On the carrots
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors, ”
that you don’t care at all about evil judgements against us.

עַל הַקָּרָא (דְּלַעַת קְטַנָּה)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּקָּרְאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ זְכֻיּוֹתֵינוּ׃
On the squash or cucumber
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that You squash the aspect of judgement and that it be encumbered by our merits.

עַל רֹאשׁ כֶּבֶשׂ אוֹ דָּג (אוֹ לַצִּמְחוֹנִים, רֹאשׁ שׁוּם אוֹ כְּרוּב)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁנִּהְיֶה לָרֹאשׁ וְלֹא לְזָנָב׃
On the lamb or fish head (or for vegetarians, garlic or cabbage head)
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that we be as the head and not the tail.

עַל דָּגִים (אוֹ לַצִּמְחוֹנִים, סֻכָּרִיּוֹת בְּצוּרַת דָּג)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁנִּפְרֶה וְנִרְבֶּה כַּדָּגִים׃
On the fish (or for vegetarians, fish-shaped candy)
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that we are fruitful and multiply like fish.

עַל חָסָה, צִמּוּקִים, וְכַרְפַּס (סֶלֶרִי)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁתָּחוּס עָלֵינוּ
וְלֹא יִהְיוּ בִּטְנֵינוּ מְצֻמָּקוֹת
וְלֹא בִּרְכֵּינוּ נִכְרַע מִפִּסָּחוֹן׃
On the lettuce, raisins, and celery
May it be desirable to You,
CAUSE our God and God of our ancestors,
that You have mercy on us
that we not starve or collapse,
and let us have a raise in salary.

 

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