A Devotaj Sacred Arts Source Sheet
On Hanukkah, the roots of the season become branches, torches of fire to light our way into the next season, when the light will grow and we will begin the ascent into spring.
Table of Contents
This source sheet is structured a bit differently than some of the others. Below you will find a curated set of links to other websites, with some quotes from a favorite book.
And remember to check out my Hanukkah Haggadah, for a different way to engage with the holiday.
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The pomegranate (רימון) is such a common motif and symbol in Jewish culture. Rabbinic Judaism says that it’s because of the “613 seeds” in the pomegranate that connect to the 613 mitzvot. There aren’t 613 seeds in a pomegranate, but it’s a great story.
Pomegranates have a long connection to fertility and abundance across many cultures and Jewish culture is no different. I’ve found teachings that one should eat a pomegranate at the new year (Rosh Hashanah, or more likely the first of Nisan) to increase fertility. Eating them on the high holidays also is a way to ensure lots of blessings (as many as the seeds) in the new year.
In the Cairo Genizah a magickal formula was found to release men who are impotent to write a specific series of words/symbols on a pomegranate leaf then drink it in wine (Naveh & Shaked: http://amzn.to/2yjs5s9).
I know from my own pomegranate tree that if you cut a green branch, the leaves stay green as they dry — which gives it a sense of eternity.
Note: The copyright for each of the books excerpted here is owned by the author and publisher. These excerpts are posted as a way of raising awareness of these great resources.