חשבון הפנים | An accounting of punny foods for the Rosh Hashanah feast

As חז”ל [Ḥazal] taught us, on ראש השנה [Rosh Hashanah] we elevate puns from the lowest form of humor to the highest religious experience.

The foods suggested by our Sages had names in Aramaic or Hebrew that symbolized hopes for the new year — here is a list of foods with English names for those of us for whom English is our vernacular:

SQUASH so that Gd will squash your enemies

SAGE for wisdom

TARRAGON so terror will be gone

SUNFLOWER SEEDS for illumination

AVOCADOS for divine advocacy

CASHEWS for financial success (but some customarily do not eat nuts on Rosh Hashanah)

PLANTAINS so all your plans will be attained

SOLE for spiritual depth

DATES for successful romance

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES for an end to exile and a rebuilt Jerusalem

POMEGRANATES so we will be soft like pom-poms but tough like granite

CHERRIES for a year of cheer

GRAINS for brains

PASSIONFRUIT for passion and/or compassion

BERRIES to bury the past

TURKEY or KEY LIMES to unlock a good future

COFFEE to breathe easy

MUSHROOMS for a speedy end to homelessness

PEAS for peace

LEEK for structural integrity or keeping confidence

CORN for humor

1 comment to חשבון הפנים | An accounting of punny foods for the Rosh Hashanah feast

  • Stephen Belsky Stephen Belsky

    And here are some Hebrew ones from ערב ראש־השנה־ה’תשע”ג —
    imported beef for a good livelihood: פר נסע = פרנסה
    apricot sandwich for justice: משמש בפת = משפט

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