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Why do we eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Rosh Hashanah » Laws and Customs | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The Talmud1 tells us that "even the wicked amongst Israel are filled with good deeds like pomegranates [are filled with seeds]." On Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, we eat a pomegranate to remind G-d of all the good deeds we've done in the past year2.

Footnotes

  • 1. Tractate Sanhedrin 37a
  • 2. Also see Malbim Shir Hashirim, 4:3, where he mentions pomegranates having 613 seeds, which is analogous to the 613 Mitzvot

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Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.