Shabbat is in my kitchen late Friday afternoon, standing beside the fruit bowl and examining a dark, round pomegranate. “What is this?” he asks.

So I tell him that the pomegranate is one of the seven species, that its profile was stitched on the hems of the high priests’ robes. I mention that the rabbis claimed that it has 613 seeds inside, one for every commandment.

“Really?” Shabbat tries to smell the odorless fruit. Then he perks up and presses his nails through the thick outer skin, splitting it down the middle. He looks carefully inside, as though counting every seed, and then he shrugs and hands me half. With cherry-stained fingers, he pulls out a clump of seeds and stuffs it in his mouth like a greedy child. “You forgot to mention that they’re tangy and sweet… and crunchy,” he reproaches me, his mouth still full.

No comments: