In Judaism, we beautify objects used to perform Mitzvot or commandments. This is to show that the commandment is beloved to us. One of the ways we can show our devotion to the commandments and respect for the Torah is to beautify the Torah scroll itself with different sterling silver ornaments. One of the most commonly used ornaments are Judaica Rimonim.
Rimonim are often made of silver, with gemstones and bells hanging off the sides. They are usually hollow, at least in the bottom section, which is placed over the top part of the wooden Torah handles, also known as the Etz Chaim. Rimonim serve as works of Jewish art.
When selecting a set of Rimonim, there are a number of options available. Since the Rimonim are silver, and especially 925 sterling silver, you can have practically anything engraved in them. The tops of the Rimonim can have objects such as Jewish Stars and crowns as well as lions. The most common engravings are of Jerusalem and vines. In addition, they can also be moulded into different shapes and have names, such as those of the 12 tribes of Israel engraved or moulded into them. It is very common for moulded Rimonim to be shaped like flames. For those who would like to be original, you can also purchase Rimonim that are in the shape of an object related to Judaism, such as the Star of David.
For those who would like Rimonim that are more affordable, there are Rimonim made of wood. These are often made of olive tree wood or cedar, mainly because of their pleasant smell. You can have Jerusalem engraved or written on the Rimonim, from names to verses from the Torah. Rimonim are a great way to honour a relative because you can have their names memorialized on them and thereby show respect in a way that will be recognized for generations. Display your Rimonim in your Jewish home or give them as a gift for a Jewish wedding.
The accepted tradition in Judaism is to decorate those items which will be used to perform a commandment or those items which are important in Judaism. The Torah, the primary text of Judaism and the word of G-d according to the Jews, is one of those items. Consequently, Torah Scrolls (Sifrei Torah) are priceless items and are decorated with the most expensive and elaborate decorations made from materials such as gold and silver. One common type of decoration is Rimonim.
What is a Rimon?
Rimonim, contrary to what their name literally means in Modern Hebrew, do not look like Pomegranates. They resemble Maraca shakers or rattles, even going so far as to have bells on them. The bells are meant to call attention to the fact that G-d’s word is present and those present should pay attention and act appropriately. The bottom, thin section is hollow and is placed over the top holders of a Torah Scroll and its atop the Torah when it is being displayed or is being stored. The wide section is the decorated section.
Rimonim are usually made from sterling silver or wood, although the two may be used together as well. Gold is occasionally incorporated in small amounts; however, gold is uncommon because of its price and fragile nature.
Decorations on Rimonim
Rimonim can be decorated with nearly any Judaism-related theme. Some of the most common decorations on sterling silver rimonim include floral patterns, flame designs, and Biblical verses relating to the greatness of the Torah. The most common phrase found on Rimonim is “Ki Mitzion Tetzeh Torah”, or “From Zion comes the Torah”, a reference to the historic Israel and the indivisible link between the Torah, Jews and the land of Israel. Other designs include the symbols or names of 12 tribes, the Tablets or Luchot and Lions as well as Jerusalem.
Wooden Rimonim may be engraved with Judaica, painted or both. These Rimonim generally come from Israel and as such reflect Judaica themes directly linked to Israel. Some examples include any of the Seven Species of fruit and grains that Israel is known for, Jerusalem, the Menorah that was in the Temple and other similar motifs.
Because Rimonim are valuable, they are often donated to a Synagogue in honour or in memory of an individual. As such, it is possible to personalise Rimonim with the Hebrew names or loved ones.