May you share the prosperity of Yerushalayim all the days of your life. PSALMS 128:5 (The Israel Bible™)
Throughout the Bible, the Land of Israel is described as “flowing with milk and honey.” On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, which begins at sundown on September 20th, there is a popular custom to eat apples dipped in honey in hopes that Hashem will grant us a sweet new year. There is a difference between the sweetness of an apple and the sweetness of honey. It is not surprising that apples are sweet! In general, fruit which grows on trees is sweet and delicious. Honey, on the other hand, comes from a bee, an insect that is forbidden for Jews to consume and even has the potential to cause great pain by stinging. The sweetness of the apple represents the small joys in life. These types of joys are often taken for granted in the same way that a delicious apple is often overlooked. The sweetness of honey, however, represents the joy that we experience when we, as humans, can overcome challenges and tribulations. While life is full of painful “bee stings,” if we can endure those tests and difficult times, we will ultimately emerge stronger, happier, and more successful.