Monday, February 11, 2008

The Pomegranate, Azamra, & Parshas Tetzaveh

(Picture courtesy of

I envision the pomegranate to be the perfect symbol for Rebbe Nachman's teaching Azamra. The Gemara (Chagiga 27a) states, "Even sinners among the Jewish people are as full of mitzvos as a pomegranate is full of seeds." In other words, once we peel away the exterior and take a deeper look, a person is full of all the good points that Rebbe Nachman instructed us to search out.

When a person understands the pomegranate's symbolism as such, he will instantly understand why it is prominently featured on the hem of the clothing of the kohen gadol (Shemos 28:33-34), on pillars in the Beis HaMikdash (I Melachim 7:18), and as eaten as one of the symbolic fruits on Rosh Hashana.

Although I have not yet seen this interpretation in any of the traditional commentaries, my heart tells me that pomegranates were included on the hem of the kohen gadol's me'il in order to "remind" Hashem that the Jewish people's good points far exceeded any sins they may have committed during the previous year. Simultaneously, they served as a visual reminder to the kohen gadol, the representative of the entire Jewish people, of his duty to find, gather, and bring their collective good points before Hashem when he entered the kodesh kodashim on Yom Kippur.

Similarly, it seems to me that a pomegranate is placed on our table (representing the mizbeach in the Beis HaMikdash) on Rosh Hashana for the dual purposes of reminding Hashem and ourselves to focus solely on finding our good points; on this awesome day, and on every day during the upcoming year.


At February 11, 2008 at 8:37:00 PM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Beautiful post!
I heard a similar explanation (regarding the coat of the Kohen Gadol) from the Kaliver Rebbe, shlita.

At February 12, 2008 at 6:18:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Very interesting. I appreciate your feedback!

At February 12, 2008 at 2:50:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can read the Akeidas Yitzchak on parshas Tetzave for a most beautiful explanation on the bigdai kehunah and the me'il in particular.

At June 9, 2014 at 2:11:00 PM EDT, Anonymous breslovwoman said...

I will treasure this inspirational explanation of the Pomegranate on the bigdei Kahuna and how this parallels the teaching of Azamra.


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