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☞   Seder Akhilat haSimanim

This is an archive of resources prepared for, or relevant to, the Feast of Portentous, Symbolic Foods — Seder Akhilat haSimanim — on the night of Rosh haShanah.

Click here to contribute a resource you have prepared for Seder Akhilat haSimanim.

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For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah (l’Maasei Bereshit), visit here.

For prayers composed for Rosh Ḥodesh Tishrei, visit here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la-Ilanot (a/k/a Tu biShvat), go here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la-Melakhim, go here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la’Behemah, go here.

Additions to the Rosh haShanah Seder Akhilat haSimanim, from Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

If you are doing a Rosh Hashanah seder of simanim (signs, augurs, portents) using food puns, here are some topical additions including for beginning the Shmitah year. . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | Seder Akhilat haSimanim for Rosh Hashanah 5881, by Ḥayyim Obadyah (2020)

A liturgy of symbolic foods exclusively for the eve of the Hebrew new year 5781. A traditional egalitarian Hebrew text being a newly revised liturgy with contemporary text and additional prayers suitable to our perilous and worrisome state at the beginning of this second year of the pandemic and including a modern English translation together with learned annotations and guidance for observance in the home. . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | The Seder of Auspicious Foods for the Feast of Rosh Hashanah according to the Persian custom

Thank you to Nili Simhai and Yosh Schulman for sharing the Farsi (Persian) Nusaḥ of this punful minhag — the order of reciting kavvanot (intentions) for the New Year. Profound thanks are also due to Rabbi Simcha Daniel Burstyn of Kibbutz Lotan for his translation. Please help the Open Siddur Project by helping to translate and transcribe all of the Hebrew and Farsi in this seder. Sol’e nu Mobarak! سال نو مبارک — L’shanah Tova! . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | Seder Akhilat haSimanim: The “Symbolic Foods of Life” Seder for Rosh Hashanah by R’ R. Karpov, Ph.D.

Ḥazal, — some of our Jewish Sages, May Their Memory Be For A Blessing — suggest that ‘simanah milsah‘ — a symbol has significance. Some of the teachers of Jewish tradition encourage us on Rosh HaShanah to partake of a variety of foods suggestive of prosperity and happiness. This usage is alluded to in the directive of the prophet Nechemiah to the assembly: ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet …” (Nechemiah 8:10). Our kavvanoth — sacred intentions — are that these Symbolic Foods Of Life are to help us effect a good coming year. . . .

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. . . .

An Accounting of Punny Foods for the Rosh haShanah Feast, by Stephen Belsky

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. . . .