Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It was going to be a special Shabbos and I wanted to prepare a really festive salad… beyond the regular lettuce, tomato and cucumber that we enjoyed… something unique and tasty and beautiful.

In the bottom drawer of the refrigerator we had about ten pomegranates that had been there for months… I had once bought them with great enthusiasm about all the healthful benefits of this unique fruit, but still had not had the chance to spend the time actually slicing, opening and separating the numerous seeds from the peel.

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In short, pomegranates represented a time-consuming project that was better to do when one has more minutes to allot than I ever had… especially on erev Shabbos!

So there I was, envisioning a huge bowl filled with dark green kale decorated with many deep red burgundy pomegranate seeds in a gorgeous display of vivid colors, vital nutrients – clear evidence of Hashem’s abundant bounty. I knew that our Shabbos guests would definitely appreciate and enjoy this lovely dish, but still… as Shabbos quickly approached with so many tasks still to do… there really wasn’t time to allot to the formidable, very messy task of peeling pomegranates!

No matter how much this vision beckoned me, the greens were washed, and ready to toss into the largest salad bowl we had, but the old, dried out pomegranates remained where they had already been for months (!) and would probably remain there in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, until Pesach!

And then the moment came… candle-lighting! We lit and then sat together in the living room. Little children were playing together, mommies were talking, davening, singing, relaxing, resting. I sat on the couch, surrounded by loved ones, so, so grateful for the beautiful Shabbos we would celebrate together, our first family gathering in many months, inspired by the upcoming occasion of one of our grandson’s upsherin on motzei Shabbos.

Then there was a loud knock on the front door and when I opened it, a smiling group of young neighbors from upstairs greeted me joyously, and presented me with two full containers of… ready to eat… pomegranate seeds!

Surprised… shocked… amazed… I asked, “what is this for?”

The oldest of the girls grinned, pointed across the hall, to the open door of our neighbors and said, “It’s from them! They asked me to give this to you!”

I gazed across the hall as our neighbor, standing at the open door, announced, “L’kvod Shabbos kodesh! For you!”

Was I able to thank them properly for this unexpected Shabbos gift? I had no words to adequately express myself! Only Hashem knew how much I wanted to make a huge festive salad full of pomegranate seeds. Only Hashem knew!! Mi k’amcha Yisroel!

May we always be as full of good deeds as the pomegranate is full of seeds!

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