Dvar for Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)
In its description of the priestly garments, the passuk (verse) describes the robe’s bottom hem as having alternating pomegranates and bells (28:34). However, when introducing the design, the passuk begins with the pomegranates’ placement on the hem and continues with the golden bells’ placement in between them (28:33). Why are the bells specifically described as being placed in the pomegranates’ midst?
The Alshech (16th century) suggests that the pomegranates represent introspection and internal growth (as the shell shelters its many seeds), while the bells represent speech and outward interactions. He explains that the specific wording is meant to give us perspective on the physical actions that these items represent. Not every thought or personal development should be surrounded by actions or speech, while every utterance should be framed by introspection and contemplation. Considering our words carefully will facilitate the answering of our prayers and delivering us internal growth.