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A Fruit with Many Meanings This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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At first, they were just objects on my mantle piece,
Simple reminders of my mother’s need for clutter.
Amongst the poses, candids, family portraits, and ceramic dishes,
They began to stick out.
Colorful and round,
Displaying a familiar shape:
That of a pomegranate.
With colors matching those of the spiraling house around them,
I soon came to associate them with life and joy,
As they sat enjoying the parties and people,
Constantly running in and out of the door.

To the average person leafing through a magazine,
Images of companies- POM, Minute Maid
To name a couple, give this fruit meaning.
“Oh it has antioxidants?”
“Interesting- a skin rub?”
“Well what else can this globose, many seeded berry do?”

I no longer possess these same ideas.
When I finally asked, “why?”
My mother answered, “they have significance to our religion.”
Well, it seems,
In the Jewish faith a lot of things “have meaning.”

Huddled underneath the leathery,
Orangish, red skin lay 613 seeds.
Peculiar number? Well yes,
But 613 is the number of mitzvot
Or commandants that we,
As Jewish people are supposed to fulfill.
Coincidence? Yes. Mysticism? Maybe.

“That’s it?”
“No there is more.”
Minute in numbers, we as Jews want-
No need, to keep our values and religion alive.
The many pleasantly tart seeds, resemble something?
Eggs- those of fertility,
The many chambers of compacted,
Reddish dots give us glimmers of hope.
Hope of many things-
Continuation of our people,
As our numbers continue to dwindle,
And maybe,
Perpetual Peace with our neighbors,
For future generations to come.

To others, this hope,
May be to strengthen their heart
How?
By the antioxidant rich flesh surrounding
613 seeds.

To me this hope, embroidered on
Robes of priests and rabbis, embodies a place.
Not just any place, a homeland.
Israel-where these luscious, ruby red fruits can
Bloom in open air, and unleash their unyielding powers,
Like they did on Eve, when she ate the forbidden fruit.

Just as it did to Adam and Eve, I now know more,
From my constant search for a pomegranate,
Or maybe a search for meaning,
I traveled alongside my best friends through the sandy streets of Israel.
The quest for this fruit guiding my way.
Introducing me to new meanings,
A fresh methodology on life.

Now on my mother’s mantle piece,
Lay two more pomegranates.
One purple and one red.
To many, they look ordinary or dull.
Yet, the purple pomegranate, unnatural in color,
Resembles a young Jewish girl
Attempting to fit into Israeli culture-
Looking like a white rose in a field of pink.
But the red one shows what I became:
Assimilated and natural,
Looking and feeling as if I belonged.





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