What do the Jews eat to celebrate the New Year? You guessed it! The Pomegranate. They are filled with stories, symbols, and meaning. Our name pomegranate is derived from the Latin “grained apple,” The Hebrew word is ‘rimon’ which means to exalt, or lift or get (oneself) up, or to mount up. Pomegranates are found throughout the Bible and are rich in Biblical symbolism.
First, God prescribes the pomegranate to be woven into the hem of the robe of the High Priest.
“On its hem, you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out so that he does not die.” (Exodus 28:33-34).
You may question this curious fashion choice, but God always has a purpose for his instructions. The colors, blue representing heaven, purple, royalty, and red (scarlet), blood or life all suggest the Celestial Kingdom. Being at the hem may possibly mean that it was to remind us of the covenant path back to God’s presence. The fact that there were bells in between them (or ‘inside/amongst’, as the Hebrew says) reminds us to stay on the path.
Second, pomegranates are also depicted 400 times around the top of Solomon’s Temple and on the capitals of the two pillars which stood in front of the Temple (1 King 7:13-22). Many believe Solomon designed his crown based on the ‘crown’ of the pomegranate. Sadly, these bronze pomegranates adorning the temple were carted off with the exile to Babylon, but we know that this is not the end of the story.