Discover the Original Seven Species of Israel and Their Significance
The Scriptures talk about the exquisite beauty of the Land of Israel, “For the L-rd your G-d 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] . . .” (Deuteronomy 8:8).
These then became the special seven species of Israel having a special connection to the Holy Land and each having its own significance.
A diet staple, just as wheat is essential for our physical well-being, kindness is all-important for our mental health. Wheat gives us strength and energy to go about our daily lives and the positive energies of kind thoughts and actions allows us to grow spiritually.
A nutritious grain, barley nourishes the body and gives us strength. The barley plant is highly resilient with a strong exterior hull that protects the inner seed. It teaches us to guard our soul from all exterior negative forces, keeping it pure and safe.
The source of wine for Jewish ceremonies, grapes are incredibly important in Judaism. Bunches of grapes signify wholesomeness and harmony in togetherness while the sturdy grapevines teach us the importance of strength of character. In fact, the olden times, grapevines were used to build the Sukkahs as they were so durable!
The fig is also believed to be the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. With one of longest ripening periods, figs are eaten all the year round (in fresh and dried forms), making it a fruit that lasts. The cycle of the fig tree teaches us about persistence in our own endeavors.
Pomegranates have a multitude of significances in Judaism, the most important of them being abundance and humility. Seeming simple on the outside, the pomegranate fruit has a gorgeous red inside with deliciously sweet seeds. With a crown on top, it is a fruit of splendor!
Olive trees grow all over Israel, many of them over 100 years old! It is against the law in Israel to cut down a live Olive tree, with olive oil being the foundation of cooking food. The olive branch represents peace and is a significant feature of the emblem of Israel.
Honey derived from dates is an Israeli specialty! The land of milk and honey refers to date honey rather than the honey from bees. Considered royal because they are the connecting point between the attributes in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
The Seven species of Israel are often used in decorations during celebrations and form important motifs in Jewish jewelry and Judaica. During harvest festivals like Sukkot and Tu Bishvat, wheat, barley etc are used to decorate Jewish homes, while during Rosh Hashanah, pomegranates and dates feature widely in the celebration meals!
Explore our site for Jewish jewelry and Judaica designed with these themes.