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Tu Bishvat – Seven Species: Pomegranate

“Your lips are like a thread of scarlet, and your mouth is comely; Your cheek is like a pomegranate within your locks.” (Song of Songs 4:3) Just as the pomegranate is filled with seeds, so too, even the sinners of Israel are as filled with Mitzvot. (Eiruvin 19a)

The pomegranate is the symbol of the category of the Mitzvot called Chukim – Statutes, over which Satan and our enemies challenge us that we are fools for obeying Mitzvot that we cannot understand. However, our insights even into the smallest parts of these Mitzvot, their seeds, are as numerous as the seeds of the pomegranate.

There is no fruit with a Klipah, or shell, that is so thick, and far more of the fruit than its seeds.  However, we can also say that there is no fruit as decorated and crowned as the pomegranate. We can use all the parts of the for medicines and potions of life.

Satan attacks us by placing Klipot, shells, around everything in life in order to make it difficult to see the inner light of every detail of creation. However, we can transform even these Klipot into something good and holy. (Rabbi Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz)

The pomegranate symbolizes our ability to overcome the Klipot, and the transformative power of Teshuva. On this Rosh Hashana, that of the trees, even those of us who feel inadequate can celebrate that we are filled with Mitzvot, insights, and the ability to transform ourselves through Teshuva.

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