Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Simanim on Rosh Hashana

The Simanim on Rosh Hashana
Day: Thursday
Date: August 31, 2017
Parshat: Ki Tetzei
Yalkut Yosef: O"H: 583

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Before eating each Siman on Rosh Hashana we say a short prayer (a Yehi Ratzon) which contains a pun with the name of the food. A theoretical example would be to eat a raisin and some celery and to say "may we have a raise in salary."
The proper time to eat the Simanim is either at the beginning of the meal after hamotzi, or at the end of the meal after birkat hamazon. When doing the Simanim during the meal, no blessing is said on any cooked vegetables since cooked vegetables are routinely eaten as part of a meal.
One of the Simanim is dates. The beracha should be said on dates first since dates are part of the seven species of Erez Yisrael and also since in the order of the species they precede pomegranates. When saying the ha'etz one should have in mind that it is also for any other Simanim with the same beracha.
The proper way is to first say the beracha on the item, take a bite, and then say the Yehi Ratzon and eat the rest. If one has not partaken of the fruit since the previous season he should say shehehyanu as well. When saying shehehyanu the following procedure should be used. First the beracha on the fruit should be said. Afterward one should say shehehyanu. Only after both berachot have been said should the fruit be enjoyed. One should make sure that the new fruit is not on the table when he says shehehyanu during kiddush or at the very least he should cover it and have in mind that the shehehyanu during kiddush should not cover the new fruit. One should answer amen to the Yehi Ratzons.

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