Have you ever wondered why it’s called a HONEYmoon? The word comes from the notion that the first month after the marriage is the sweetest. Extending beyond the first month in the Jewish culture, for a full year a newly married couple is encouraged to revel in the bliss of young love and enjoy their honeymoon and sweetness of their new love. Many newlywed couples have adopted a wonderful, sweet tradition. The couples use honey on their challah on Shabbat and holidays during the first year of their marriage. Traditionally, salt is used, but the symbolism of honey and sweetness brings a new light to the new marriage.
A new couple’s life together should be as sweet as honey, right?
“May you continue to be blessed with a sweet and joyful life together for as long as you live!”
Later when they return to old customs of salting the challah, it is saying that the Honeymoon is over, and the freshness is preserved.
Challah is a braided Jewish bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays.
The three Sabbath meals and two holiday meals begin with two complete loaves of bread to commemorate the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years after the Egyptian Exodus. A single loaf is woven with six strands, and together, the two loaves (12 strands) represent each tribe in Israel.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on September 4th, many people roll the challah into a circular shape symbolizing the full cycle of the year. You can top it off by brushing the top of the loaf with some sweet honey. If you are a new couple and this is your first Rosh Hashanah, this is a great way to combine both sweet traditions.