On Rosh Hashanah we start the meal with various simanim and their accompanying brachos and texts. For example, we eat a pomegranate and ask that our merits should be as numerous as pomegranate seeds, and we eat apply with honey so that we should have a sweet new year, etc. What is the idea of these simanim - are they just games or examples of clever play on words? Rav Neventzal explained that the main idea of these simanim are to inspire us to repent. When we look at the apple and honey and ask for a sweet new year, we are reminded that we need to mend our ways to merit such sweetness. And so it goes for all the simanim - they are mental reminders and motivators for us to repent. The Shem Mishmuel offers a different approach, arguing that each thing we eat on Rosh Hashanah has certain effects in the spiritual realms. It is these spiritual effects that we are tapping into when we eat these select foods on the Day of Judgment

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