Once, at the Rosh Hashana meal in the home of the Chafetz Chaim, Rav Yisrael Meir Hacohen, the time arrived for eating the simanim (“signs” or symbols that bring a favorable new year): apple in honey, pomegranate, etc. The Chafetz Chaim said to those present: “As is known, there is appropriateness, strength and influence in the good signs that a person makes on Rosh Hashana, and therefore we endeavor to eat sweet things, and to bless and to pray over these special foods. However, if we are really serious about making extraordinary, lasting signs for the new year, there is no more beautiful sign that being pleasant to another person, than a smile, than patience – and there is no worse sign than restlessness or anger, and indeed our behavior is measured by its appropriateness and influence, too: ‘Whoever is merciful and forgiving towards other people – mercy and forgiveness are granted to him from the heavens’. Therefore, on Rosh Hashana, it is especially worthwhile to be strict regarding the important signs of heart-felt camaraderie, affection and love”.
Have a good and sweet new year, and may you be inscribed and sealed in the book of life.