Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is almost here, which means it’s time to talk about pomegranates. On Rosh Hashanah, Jews from all around the world gather to celebrate the creation of the universe and the day GOD created Adam and Eve. It is the first of the High Holidays, a 10-day period that ends with Yom Kippur. There are certain prayers which need to be said and rituals which need to be performed, but as in many other holidays, the feast is also a major part of the celebration. Traditionally, the feast includes a round challah bread and apples dipped in honey, which are a blessing for a sweet year ahead. Many people also combine the pomegranate in their feast, as it symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and wisdom, which are all excellent blessings for the upcoming year.
Here are 7 fun and interesting facts about the pomegranate:
1 – It is one of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel:
The Hebrew Bible tells us: “For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water . . . a land of wheat and barley, [grape] vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-producing olives and honey [from dates] . . .” Until today, there are many pomegranates in Israel, which you can see while walking around in the markets, especially during September-October.
2 – The pomegranate is very healthy:
The pomegranate is one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. Recent studies have shown that they possess several benefits to the body. It may reduce inflammation in your body, lower your blood pressure, help in fighting joint pain, lower your risk of hear diseases, and much more. Whether you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah or not, if you want to become healthier, you might want to add pomegranates to your diet. You can either eat the red seeds themselves or drink it as pomegranate juice. Either way, it’s very nutritious and healthy!
3 – The pomegranate was found in archeology:
The pomegranate was probably very significant in ancient times, too, as archeologists have found pomegranate shapes on coins and other items. The most famous item is the ivory pomegranate, a thumb-sized semitic ornamental artifact. It looks like a pomegranate and is made of hippopotamus bone. But the most interesting thing about it is the inscription that appears on it: “Holy (Sacred) to the Priest of the House of God (YHWH).” it is thought to have adorned the High Priest’s scepter within the Holy of Holies.
4 – Pomegranates have a long shelf-life:
They can be stored up to 2 months in the refrigerator!
5 – It’s originally from Persia, which is today’s Iran:
Many people think that the pomegranate was always here in Israel, but the truth is that it’s originally from Persia. Until today, Iran has one of the greatest amounts of pomegranates in the world. It produces about 500 thousand tons of pomegranates each year! The pomegranate arrived in the Land of Israel about 4,000 years ago and still exists due to the ongoing agriculture.
6 – In Hebrew, the pomegranate is called “Rimon”:
In Hebrew, “rimon” also means “grenade”, which is the explosive weapon typically thrown by hand. It is not coincidence that the two have the same word to express them. The grenade was named “rimon” because it is more or less the size of a pomegranate, but also because it explodes to a lot of pieces. The pomegranate has a lot of seeds, so you can see the similarity.
7 – Pepsi released a pomegranate flavored 7UP for Christmas:
In 2007, Pepsi released a pomegranate flavored 7UP for the Christmas holiday. The new taste received mixed reactions. It was a special edition that stayed on the store shelfs for around three months.
And here’s a video by Top10Best, which brings much more facts:
Have a sweet Rosh Hashanah!
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The article was written by Lior Connelly, Israeli tour guide and owner of Backpack Israel, the ultimate website for budget travelers.