The symbolic foods of Rosh Hashana are chosen for specific attributes or for their Hebrew names, which sound like the words naming qualities or states of being that we hope to attain in the new year. When you delve into it, the word play turns out to be pretty lame – just a lot of bad puns – but who am I to pick on the Talmud. And they’re mostly about sweetness and abundance, which is nice. Several are also about being freed of enemies one way or another. This theme figures big on Rosh Hashana; it’s repeated while eating dates, leeks and beets, not one or two but three ceremonial foods of the holiday – talk about hedging your bets.