LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Jose Ramirez's backyard has a few pomegranate trees along with a wide variety of other fruit trees on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why Pomegranate Is A Symbolic Food For Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, took place between September 25 and September 27 in 2022, marking a time for families to gather at home for celebrations, and where food, especially symbolic food, plays an important part in the festivities. One such symbolic food is pomegranate, an Israel-native fruit often included in art and ceremonies.
For the second night of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat a "new fruit" — a fruit that hasn't been eaten that year, or for a long while. Since pomegranate has a harvest season in Israel that takes place between late August to October or early November, right around the time of Rosh Hashanah, it is commonly used for that "new fruit."
Another reason pomegranates are eaten for Rosh Hashanah is due to the belief that they contain 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitvot, or commandments, in the Torah. Pomegranates also carry a deeply symbolic meaning that expresses a prayer to not be judged for any outer "peels" or actions, but instead, for inner intentions to do and be good.