Question: The foods we use at Rosh HaShanah for the festive table symbolize some kind of internal changes. Why is it necessary to eat them?
Answer: The fact is that when we want to convey some laws, we put them in the form of folk customs and make them into something like sayings. In this way, they are preserved and passed on from generation to generation.
If you start saying: “The light of Hassadim, the light of Hochma, etc.,” then nothing will come of it. If people do not have adequate feelings, they will not preserve them. Therefore, everything is transmitted in this way.
In order to preserve the inner meaning of spiritual phenomena and actions, Kabbalists clothed them in some kind of material manifestations. At Rosh HaShanah we eat carrots, which symbolize kindness. We dip the apple in honey so that we have a good, sweet year. The pomegranate symbolizes 613 desires that we need to correct from reception to bestowal, from egoistic to altruistic.
That is, all these are particular signs in our world. This is how folk customs are passed from generation to generation although Kabbalists have put a much deeper meaning into them. We know and appreciate them because traditions are passed on in this way. But what matters most is what these customs indicate. They indicate their very high inner meaning. This is what we must perform.
Question: That is, a Kabbalist feels the desire to receive with the intention for his own sake. In this world to somehow convey the signs of correction to everyone else, he takes an apple, which symbolizes the desire to receive, dips it in honey, as if sweetening it with the right intention, and thus the semantics are obtained?
Answer: These are just external signs, nothing more. We should understand that at the same time a Kabbalist wishes that the fruit of that tree, which deliberately threw out the person from the spiritual level, now with the help of Amtakat Hadinim (sweetening the judgment), that is, sweetening with honey, would correct the evil inclination of a person and he would rise to the level of his correction.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”