have some questions about the simanim (symbolic foods) we eat on Rosh Hashana. Should we have them both nights? Is it done before or after washing, and how does this impact on the berachot made on them?
“This revered day is the reason for the existence of the world, and it therefore deserves to be a holiday. However, because it is the day whereupon all creatures are judged, one should approach it with more trepidation than any of the other holidays.”
Abraham, a "father of many nations," could not imagine that the greatness he was to acquire through the binding of his son would remain a personal possession and not make its impact felt upon the other young men, the servants that were with him.
The holiday approached and Rosh Hashanah arrived. Rabbi Amnon of Mainz asked his relatives to bring him to the synagogue with all of his dismembered organs and to place him by the prayer leader. We can well image the atmosphere in the synagogue.
The essence of Rosh Hashanah is to pronounce God king over us and over all of creation. Therefore, Rosh Hashanah aims at rectifying the Sin of the Golden Calf, for this particular sin constituted an attempt to throw off the yoke of God's kingship.
On Rosh Hashanah, every action has significance pertaining to the year to come. This is the first day of the year, and it is on this day that God apportions life to all creatures; therefore, action and thought on this day influence the entire year.
We are in an hour of war. An hour in which the Almighty is very close to us. Those who reside in the Land of Israel, and who find themselves on the front line of the battle, are all messengers of God, faithfully carrying out His wishes.