This is a 1969 photograph of shoppers at the Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) in Tel Aviv before Rosh Hashanah. The shuk (market) is crowded with shoppers buying food for the festival. The shoppers in the foreground of the photograph are selecting apples from a fruit stall. The sign on the bin reads “Orleans,” which was an apple variety, and the price 1.20. Although the currency and weight are not written, the Israeli currency at the time was the Israeli Pound (Lira) and produce is typically priced in Israel per kilogram.
Apples are a traditional food to eat on Rosh Hashanah, often dipped in honey.
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Shuk HaCarmel (Carmel Market) - Shuk HaCarmel is one of Israel’s largest outdoor markets. Located in Tel Aviv, Shuk HaCarmel was first started in the 1920s with the name Kerem HaTeimanim (vineyard of the Yemenites). Tel Aviv mayor, Meir Dizengoff, noticed the market’s potential, encouraged its growth, and renamed it Shuk HaCarmel. During the austerity (tzena) of the 1950s, when food was limited, Shuk HaCarmel became known as the best place to purchase produce. During the 1990s and 2000s, when Israel was hit with a wave of terrorism, business slowed down, but in recent years, as people have become more interested in buying fresh, local produce and have returned to outdoor markets, Shuk HaCarmel has been revitalised. Along with the traditional produce that has always been sold in the shuk, there are now also upscale restaurants and gourmet food shops.
Rosh Hashanah – Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year which takes place on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. It is celebrated by blowing the shofar, lighting candles, eating festive meals, and attending services at the synagogue. Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holy days which end 10 days later with Yom Kippur. The ten-day period is called the Ten Days of Repentance, because it is believed that during this period a person’s deeds are judged and the future year is decided. It is a both a festive holiday and a solemn time of introspection which includes prayer, asking forgiveness from others, and giving tzedakah (charity). The prayers on Rosh Hashanah include asking God for a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy year. Rosh Hashanah also celebrates the creation of the world. People greet each other on Rosh Hashanah by saying: “Shana Tova (Happy New Year).” Food customs for Rosh Hashanah vary among the different communities but often include round challahs (instead of the customary long loaf), apples and honey, and pomegranates. Many people send Shana Tova cards to their friends and family.