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It’s official Pomegranates do not have 613 seeds

Brooklyn – From the time Moishie Shulevetz was a small child he had many questions, he was an inquisitive boy who grew up to be a very intellectual young man who eventually left the path of Judaism because he discovered one day that for some two dozen years his rabbis and community had lied to him. During the high holidays one year, Mr. Shulevetz decided to investigate the Pomegranate seed mystery for himself, for years, he had been taught that Pomegranates contained exactly 613 seeds in them to correspond to the amount of biblical commandments in the Torah.

Like many intellectual youth in the orthodox community, Mr. Shulevetz had many unanswered questions, questions that bothered his Rabbis and peers, he wondered why the orthodox community didn’t donate their leftover lulavim to palm Sunday charities, why no one wanted to admit that magic mushrooms were partially responsible for the tripped revelation at sinai and where the minhag to make esrog jelly came from, but he was especially bothered by the Pomegranate seed mystery – he just couldn’t understand how every pomegranate had exactly the same amount of seeds – so he decided to investigate himself.

“I sat down one day with a fresh rimon and decided to actually count the seeds” he relates his story as tears stream down his face. “I expected to find exactly 613 and when I found significantly less than that I called my rebbe to tell him that our counting methods were off” His Rabbi told him that he was just like benai yisrael in the desert and they too had miscounted – or that he may have lost some of the seeds, but Moishe knew the truth and since then he has been a non-believer.

FS News is of the opinion that urban legends used to strengthen the evidence pointing to the authenticity of Judaism are usually fake, such as the legend that the Lubavitcher helped build the Verazano Bridge – yet to be verified by anyone, but told to strengthen the resolve that prior to dabbling in a messianic lifestyle he was a brilliant civil engineer – thereby proving that even a lowly learner-earner could become great.

{ 53 comments… add one }
  • Philo September 28, 2010, 9:47 AM

    The Rebbe & the Verazzano Bridge? Lol – Haven’t heard that one!

  • Whaaaat? September 28, 2010, 9:56 AM


  • VoxMysteron September 28, 2010, 10:11 AM

    Pretty unlikely. The Verrazano Bridge had some significant design work done as early as 1936 by its chief engineer Othmar Ammann and his staff on orders from Robert Moses (see Robert Caro’s book “The Power Broker” for the details), but the plans were quickly shelved in favor of a Brooklyn-Battery Bridge (which of course got turned into a tunnel after the War Department squawked). The plans got dusted off around ’54 or ’54 when Moses started working out the funding deal for the Verrazano (basically, he conned the Port Authority into putting up the money and using its credit line, since he wanted to use the TBTA credit line to build the Throgs Neck Bridge). So, unless, Rav Schneerson was working for Ammann and Whitney or the TBTA……

    • Whaaaat? September 28, 2010, 2:17 PM

      How awesome is Wikipedia? 😉

  • Thinkingbochur September 28, 2010, 10:36 AM

    I have heard that the Rebbe worked in the Brooklyn shipyards on submarines , but never about working on a bridge.

  • Eli September 28, 2010, 11:01 AM

    It’s official: the world ain’t 5,771 years old.

    • Anonymous September 28, 2010, 7:44 PM

      Rabbi Shimon Schwab has an article in Selected Speeches (only in the full edition) where he asserts that Daniel lied about the age of the world and the current count is off by 168 years.

  • Anonymous September 28, 2010, 12:22 PM

    6 th comment

    • Anonymous September 28, 2010, 1:54 PM

      lol, though the problem is with the sixth comment you can easily get bumped down when someone comments on an earlier comment. First comment rules all, and cant be defeated

  • A. Nuran September 28, 2010, 1:54 PM

    I know it’s satire. But there are people who actually believe these little lies that are supposed to “prove” religion.

    • Thinkingbochur September 28, 2010, 2:34 PM

      This is not the kind of thing that anybody think’s proves religion.

    • Heshy Fried September 28, 2010, 4:28 PM

      I used to believe this shite

    • Sarah November 11, 2011, 10:19 AM

      I was taught this as a kid, and I’m Conservative. Which makes it even worse, because the adults teaching it didn’t believe it. Yet they thought that our age made it okay to tell us this — and many other things — anyway. I think they thought these were cute ways of explaining things to us, but they either didn’t realize or didn’t care that we actually believed it. This led me to start doubting religion as a teenager — simply based on the fact that I doubted many of the childish things I’d been taught when there was no reason to doubt Judaism itself because the adults didn’t believe in all these silly things either.

  • Anonymous September 28, 2010, 1:56 PM

    I counted the other day myself

    Got 596

    • Devin April 29, 2013, 8:08 AM

      I always heard it was an average of 613. Where they got that who knows. I think its just a nice idea, like MANY things in Judiasm and Christianity.

  • eliot September 28, 2010, 2:40 PM

    A. Nuran
    We still believe that things!

  • officialy 12 comment September 28, 2010, 3:38 PM


  • officialy 12 comment September 28, 2010, 3:39 PM

    btw i was the one who pioneered the first comment

  • Yankel September 28, 2010, 8:16 PM

    I never heard or saw an actual source which states that a pomegranite has 613 seeds. (I mean maybe there is on but I never came across it.)

    Where I think the whole business started from, is the “yehi ratzon” which we say on rosh hashana, “May we be filled with mitzvos as a rimon (is filled with seeds)” – meaning simply that our actions should consist mainly of mitzvos, and of many mitzvos.
    Someone apparantly understood this to mean a rimon has 613 seeds…

    “Moishe, you can come back!”

    • John September 28, 2010, 10:05 PM

      I agree though the source isnt really the yehi ratzon, but rather a gemara in migila and elsewhere saying that “afilu reikanun shebo milyim mitzvos kirimon” Even the empty ones among them (in one place dwellers of rekes, in another Jews in general.) are full of mitzvos like a pomegranate, though again as youve poited out that doesnt mean a pomegranate has 613 seeds.

  • OfftheDwannaB September 28, 2010, 9:50 PM

    New product: Genetically engineered pomegranates with 613 seeds.
    Someone needs to make it and give me a cut.

    And child-proof pitums. And aravos that have really weak leaves so they all come off by hoshanos. That’s pimped out. Come on people, we’re sitting on a goldmine people. Get moving.

    • Mahla September 29, 2010, 8:55 AM

      I read about this cattle rancher spending millions of his own dollars to genetically engineer a perfectly red heifer for sacrifice in the Third Temple, maybe that guy could put up the seed money!

    • Bubba Metzia September 29, 2010, 7:07 PM

      That wouldn’t work because GMOs are kilayim so it wouldn’t be allowed for Jews to make them. But some pomegranates already have 613 seeds. Most have roughly about that amount, some have more some have less. I think that has more to do with how much water they get than with genetics though.

      I’ve heard that Teimani etrogs don’t have pitoms. So you wouldn’t have to worry about breaking it with those.

      Mahla, they’re not using genetic engineering for that, they’re using selective breeding.

    • Sarah November 11, 2011, 10:22 AM

      I think I learned last year that the etrog actually does *not* become unkosher if the pitom breaks.

  • Thinkingbochur September 28, 2010, 10:12 PM

    I think its something which a kindergarten teacher thought of , sort of like the 3 matzos correspond to Kohein, Levi,and , Yisrael.

    • Shlomo November 14, 2010, 5:18 PM

      The real answer is that you want a broken matza for “lechem oni”, but you still need two whole matzot for “lechem mishneh”. So it comes out to three matzot overall.

  • Seed Parade September 29, 2010, 6:17 AM

    I don’t think I had would have had the perseveerance to count past 100. Heh

  • Reb Doniel September 29, 2010, 2:04 PM

    This is actually a legitimate issue that comes up in learning. The truth of the matter according to most sources is that the pomegranate doesn’t have exactly 613 seeds, but its abundance of seeds has the intended effect of provoking the same psychological response/symbolism/imagery.

  • CCMSM October 2, 2010, 9:16 PM

    The problem is that most guys who try to count the seeds wind up eating some of them without realizing, so it really does have 613 seeds but when you count them there are less because you forget to count the ones you ate. Plus when you cut it some of the seeds get stuck in the knife or you cut a seeds in half and accidentally count that as two. also sometimes two seeds get stuck together, I bet you count those as one when you really should count them as two.
    Pomegranates have 613 seeds, that is fact and I know that because my rebbe told me. If it doesn’t have 613 seeds it isn’t a pomegranate but some other fruit that you stupid idiots confuse with Pomegranates. Like the guy who said he counted the pomegranate seeds and it only had 12 seeds, I took a closer look and he really counted the seeds of an apple and he was too stupid to realize – you guys probably are doing the same thing.
    Just because you guys are too stupid to understand that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and spread these apikorus internet lies about my religion (I don’t know what you call your religion, but it doesn’t sound like you are Jewish at all).

    • Sam October 3, 2010, 12:54 AM

      lol. better than the post

  • frummie not dummie October 3, 2010, 1:12 AM

    lol that is ridiculous, this ccmsm guy is either great at sarcasm or a fundamentalist extremist who has no business using a computer, he might accidentally buy a gun and shoot a bunch of heretical apikorsim. This guy is f*ckin* crazy!

    • CCMSM October 3, 2010, 11:33 PM

      The saddest part about the state of our religion is that it is actually conceivable that I was being serious.

  • Anonymous October 3, 2010, 10:25 PM

    Thinkingbachur: While the 613 seeds in the pomegranate may very well be an idea of some kindergarten teacher or the like the same can not be said about the 3 Matzos something which is found in many seforim.

  • yisroel October 4, 2010, 12:00 PM

    The idea that the pomegranate has 613 seeds may well be some invention of a kindergarten teacher or the like but no less an authority than the chasam sofer (and malbim) mention this idea.
    Go figure.

    • Anonymous October 4, 2010, 12:53 PM


      • yisroel October 5, 2010, 8:33 AM

        Derashot Chasam sofer (vol.2 I believe) Shabbas hagadol 5591.
        Malbim on his peirush to shir hashirim Chapter 4 verse 3 .

        • Yankel October 5, 2010, 11:17 AM

          Well I checked it up, and the malbim does in fact say that, although according his wording you could theoretically squeeze out of it if you really needed to. “…for the esscence of a Jew’s soul is similar to ‘pelach ha’rimon’ which is filled with 613 seeds”.

          Taking into account who the Malbim was, I would venture to say he must have somehow known this for a fact.
          Who knows. Maybe there was a strain of pomegranites which did actually contain 613 seeds, and the ones which didn’t – came from grafting and other genetic shtick.

          • Heshy Fried October 5, 2010, 11:43 AM

            There are loads of things which great scholars got wrong in their day – besides most of this stuff seems to be metaphorical

            • Yankel October 6, 2010, 5:08 PM

              Hey Hesh, be careful, don’t mess with the Malbim.
              Metaphorical translations are not rational options in every situation. It’s pretty clear he means it in a physical sense.
              My personal inclination is to lean towards the genetic thing. I cannot accept that the Malbim would say anything without knowing 100% that it’s true.

  • Average October 4, 2010, 4:43 PM


    See the study on amount of seeds.

    • Yankel October 5, 2010, 11:24 AM

      Thanks! That was very cool.

      I especially liked the part where it said the average amount of seeds in pomegranites worldwide is …. you guessed it, 613.
      A coincidence? Well if you are the type of person who can attribute our universe to a random explosion, then you’ll probably say yes.

  • yisroel October 6, 2010, 2:58 PM

    I am sorry the fact that the average in his study was 613 doesnt mean anything if he would have counted 1 less pomegranate he would have got a different average, and if he counted 1 more pomegranate he would have also got a different average!
    Not to mention that there are different amounts of pomegranates in different countries, so even the number 613 he came up with is not a real average!

    • Yankel October 6, 2010, 5:00 PM

      If… and if… and if…
      So basically you think it’s a coincidence?

    • Dovybear October 6, 2010, 5:46 PM

      Not a real average? What the hell does that mean? The fact is that a study was done with a decent population sample and it gave a result. The average from all the pomegranates that, throughout the whole world, were studied was 613. Live with it.

      • Yankel October 6, 2010, 7:30 PM

        Live with it = difficult
        Believe an unexplainable random bang created an orange = easy

  • joshwaxman November 7, 2010, 9:45 AM

    I am pretty certain that that website with the analysis of 613 seeds in a pomegranate was a joke. You can read my analysis here:


  • CA November 10, 2011, 11:33 PM

    you’re an idiot, man.

  • Sarah November 11, 2011, 10:25 AM

    I was taught all my life that you must be able to see the stars through the schach of a sukkah, when in fact this is not the case.

  • Boogamcg November 11, 2014, 8:41 PM

    How many though?

  • yaakov October 3, 2016, 3:23 PM

    If u google average number of seeds in a pomegranate, it actually says 613! O.o

  • Amy Whinston April 16, 2017, 1:58 AM

    Actually some group did a study of pomegranates. They had a sample set of 206 pomegranates from several different countries. They counted the seeds and actually did get an average of 613. Well, 612.68 which rounds to 613. The standard deviation was 238.79.


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