In the Book of Exodus, God promises to rescue the Hebrews “…from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey …”
Now, for many if not most Jews, the honey into which we dip apples at Rosh Hashanah, the new year, is the variety we can purchase at the local grocery store. Whether clover, orange blossom, or any of the other varieties of the stuff that we see on the shelf, all are made by honeybees.
However, some archaeologists believe that the honey referred to in the Bible is not actually the amber liquid to which we’ve become accustomed to see on our holiday tables and incorporated into all manner of honey cakes, taiglach, and other goodies. Rather, they believe it is silan, or date honey, made by boiling and mashing the fruit and concentrating it into a sweet syrup.
But because bees and/or honeycombs are mentioned at least ten times between the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings, I’m not so sure about that rationale.
Regardless, at Rosh Hashanah I’ve started serving both regular old clover/orange blossom/whatever honey and silan with my apples and challah. It is delicious!