From the Desk - Dipping Apples in Honey
Shalom Friends! I have occasionally reflected in my sermons that a community is at its best when they are building something together. Whilst the Children of Israel frequently rebel and fight with each other during their time in the desert, when they are charged with the building of the Tabernacle, they come together in mutual commitment and devotion to a common cause. Last Sunday, we witnessed just such a phenomenon in Beth Ora (see photos below). Our Fruit Salad Making event saw members and non-members alike streaming into the Hurwitz Lounge. Each one contributed to our production of a huge amount of fruit salad which was delivered to several destinations, including residences, care homes, shelters, MADA and the police. Many people brought in fruit and the room was full of volunteers of all ages, rinsing, cutting and mixing whilst the youngest children decorated stickers to put on the trays. Each person contributed toward the goal and I felt a special energy in the room as people introduced themselves and got to know each other as they worked toward the common goal. Thank you very much to everyone who brought fruit or donated money, assisted on the day or helped with delivery of the fruit. Thank you also to Esposito for their kind fruit donation. Most of all, thank you to our fabulous group of core volunteers who organized the event. May we enjoy many more fabulous events in Beth Ora.
This Shabbat, we are delighted to announce the launch of our new Junior Congregation program for 6-12-year olds. We plan to meet on a monthly basis and look forward to an enjoyable prayer service followed by an even more enjoyable Kiddush! Junior Congregation will begin at 10:30 AM this Shabbat. I’m delighted to remind you about our special pre-Rosh Hashanah event this Saturday evening. We invite you to come and honour the memories of those members who passed away in the last year and those for whom a plaque has been donated. We are privileged this year that Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger will be joining our program for a fascinating discussion, based on his expertise as a pastoral counsellor who has worked with addicts for 25 years. Rabbi Bresinger will be discussing such questions as: Can we change? Can we forgive others? Can we forgive ourselves? Please see our events page here for more details. The climax of the evening program is the Selichot prayers, an inspiring introduction to the High Holiday period. We hope you can join us for this program. On Sunday, we have a special pre-Rosh Hashanah craft party for our children, including making Rosh Hashanah cards, honey pot decorating, sprinkling challah, making Sukkah decorations and much more! The program begins at 10:00 AM. And after all that… Rosh Hashanah! Please see below for a guide to some of the practices of Rosh Hashanah. We look forward to a wonderful Yom Tov together as a community. I am excited to see you, to listen together to the blowing of the shofar and to be uplifted by the beautiful prayers and songs. May this be a year of health, joy and blessing for you, your families, our community, the Jewish People and all worthy humanity. Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What’s the Deal With… Dipping Apples in Honey? I am grateful for an article by Baruch S. Davidson on Chabad.org which I used to prepare this answer. One of the reasons we use an apple to dip into honey is because its sweetness. But, of course, there are many sweet fruits. Why not a peach or a mango?
According to rabbinic teaching, the Garden of Eden has the scent of an apple orchard. In fact, in Kabbalistic writings, the Garden of Eden is referred to as ‘the holy apple orchard.’ A second reason is that King Solomon, in Song of Songs, depicts the love of G-d for the Jewish People, using the metaphor of an apple tree: ‘Beneath the apple tree I aroused you.’ Eating an apple on Rosh Hashanah reminds us of the love between the Jewish People and G-d.