We all know the song:
Dip the apple in the honey
Make a Brachah loud and clear,
Shana Tova u'Mesukah
Have a happy, sweet new year.
Reb Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin unveils profound meaning hidden within this cherished, age-old custom of dipping the apple in honey.

When the Jews eagerly accepted the Torah at Sinai, they used the words, "Na'aseh v'Nishma" (We shall do, and we shall understand). This revolutionary statement earned them an eternal, intimate relationship with Hashem

. It's message: In order to truly understand, one must first do. To theorize Judaism without actually experiencing it is like trying to explain colors to a blind person. Mere words cannot do justice.

"Taste and see that Hashem is good (Tehillim 34:9)." To genuinely appreciate the Torah for what it is, one must sink one's teeth in. Only then can one relish the fine cuisine for what it truly is.

The apple represents the willingness to do even before one understands. "Why are the Jewish people compared to an apple? To teach us: Just as regarding the apple, the fruit comes before the leaves, so too, the Jewish people said Na'aseh ahead of Nishma (Shabbos 88a)." Judasim is a study in spontaneity (See ibid.). One must take a leap of action before one can hope to esteem.

Only then can the Jew experience the Torah's special sweetness -- "sweeter than honey, and drippings from the combs (Tehillim 19:11)." When Nishma -- the need to understand -- is preceded by Na'aseh -- the unconditional fulfillment of mitzvos -- the most delicious nectar imaginable is produced. When Na'aseh is contingent upon a prerequisite Nishma, when a person insists on understanding before acting, he will always be left with blandness; no apple, no honey, no taste.

This is our goal on Rosh HaShana. By proclaiming Hashem our King, by completely subjugating our selves to Him, we hereby accept unconditionally any decrees He may wish to enact. The resultant radiance is the most brilliant of lights, the most profound of joys.

"Light is sown for the righteous, and for the upright of heart, joy (Tehillim 97:11)."

K'siva vaChasima Tova!


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