In Anim Zemerot we praise God saying "Nafshi Chemda Betzal Yadecha (my soul pines for the onion of your hand). Why does God have an onion?

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    Onions have some of the most interesting halachot. Since H' does (and--for that matter--innovates) all the mitzvos, onions too must have their counterpart in the Supernal Worlds. – SAH Feb 21 '18 at 12:26
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    Because God has layers? – Double AA Feb 26 '18 at 16:42
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    If you hold by the opinion that onion and garlic are interchangeable, then Isaiah explicitly refers to the onion of God's hand when he says ונתתי להם בביתי ובחומותי יד ושם "I shall give them in my house and walls a hand and 'garlic'" (i.e. onion) – b a Mar 1 '18 at 17:55
  • Good sevara, @ba. – רבות מחשבות Mar 1 '18 at 18:22

This is a reference to the fact that the Mishkan was designed with Hashem's onions. As in says Shmos 31:2

רְאֵ֖ה קָרָ֣אתִי בְשֵׁ֑ם בְּצַלְאֵ֛ל

It also had to be grown in the garden of the king for it to be correctly important which was tilled with the staff that Yehudah had given Tamar as identification.

לְמַטֵּ֥ה יְהוּדָֽה

As a result, we want to have mashiach come and rebuild the bais hamikdash in the same way as the original mishkan.


God actually has two onions, which each serve different purposes (Koheles 7:12):

בְּצֵ֥ל הַֽחׇכְמָ֖ה בְּצֵ֣ל הַכָּ֑סֶף

The first onion grants knowledge to those who partake in it, the second grants wealth.


The onion of God's hand was none other than Esther. An authoritative source has it that

Queen Esther is a young small-town Jewish leek (part of the onion family)

This explains why the king said about her (Esther 7:8):

הֲ֠גַ֠ם לִכְבּ֧וֹשׁ אֶת־הַמַּלְכָּ֛ה עִמִּ֖י בַּבָּ֑יִת

Would you even pickle the queen while I'm home?!

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korcha was also certainly aware of this when he said that Esther was greenish (Megila 13a).

There are even editions of Rashi that have this comment:

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Onions cause crying. Crying happens when people are upset.

Shabbat is a remembrance of Ma'asei Breishit - the creation of parshat Breishit. At the end of that parsha, we see that G-d was upset that he created man. G-d was crying.

So when when this verse is said on Shabbat, we are reminded that God holds an onion to help him cry over what occurred during Breishit.

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    It is written that H' cried three tears: One for the first Beis Hamikdash, a second for the second Beis Hamikdash, and a third over His onion – SAH Feb 21 '18 at 12:47

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