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What exactly are kreplach? Boiled or fried pockets of dough stuffed with either meat or chicken, usually served in chicken soup. The meat symbolizes severity; the dough is an allusion to kindness. In preparation for the Day of Judgment, we “cover” the severity with kindness.

On the day before Yom Kippur it is customary to ask for and receive lekach (honey cake – signifying a sweet year) from someone, usually one’s mentor or parent. One of the reasons given for this custom is if it had been decreed, G‑d forbid, that during the year we should need to resort to a handout from others, the decree should be satisfied with this asking for food.

This salad is perfect for Rosh Hashanah (or any other time). It is light and refreshing with a delightful crunch from the apples and snap peas. Since it’s traditional to avoid nuts on Rosh Hashanah, you can use sunflower seeds instead. At other times, though, I prefer the pecans.

It’s traditional to use round challahs for Rosh Hashanah, to represent the cycle of life. It’s also customary to eat sweet foods at this time, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year ahead, hence the raisins and sweet crumb topping.