Perek Shira: The Amazing Bruised and Battered Pomegranate
We have been seeing way too many little gnats in our apartment the past few days. When searching for the source we noticed that the untended pomegranate tree in our garden (due to Shmittah) has many pomegranates that are in quite poor condition. Not to get too graphic but they have many wounds from ants and other pests and most seemed to have exploded open. So we now have pomegranates that are hanging open like a book with all their seeds totally exposed and attracting many gnats.
While cutting them off the tree I noticed that although the fruit was in really terrible condition, the seeds themselves had a deep Bordeaux color, smelled divine, and seemed perfectly intact. How can this be after being exposed to the elements for what seemed like quite awhile?
This brought to mind the gemara in Megilah that explains the pasuk in Shir HaShirim, which is the song of the Pomegranate, "K"pelach HaRimon Rakaseich" just like the rotten pomegranate is full of beautiful seeds so too even the emptiest of Jews are full of precious mitzvos. The pasuk continues "MiBaad Latzamaseich" "behind your knot" even if they have exposed and defiled themselves in many ways, their mitzvos somehow manage to all stay intact and are protected and waiting for them in the World to Come.
So remember that you and all Jews no matter how we appear on the outside are precious and loved by Hashem. Think about all the mitzvos you have done over your lifetime and know that they have an everlasting impact. You'd be surprised what zechusim we all have. Think about this and you will have more respect for others as well as more respect for yourself.