The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 23 June 2012 / 2 Tammuz 5772

Pomegranate Piece Peace

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A Moslem neighbor of the rabbi of the Jewish community in Djerba came to him with his tearful story.

"My beloved wife," he said, "insisted on paying a visit to her fathers home against my wishes. I couldnt budge her but I demanded that the visit be a very brief one. If she would not be back home before I finished eating the pomegranate I had just started, I warned her, she would be divorced. This apparently upset her and she intentionally came back much later. According to Moslem law, she is no longer my wife and the truth is that I want her back."

The rabbi, author of a commentary on Mesechta Meilah called "Meil Yaakov", came up with a brilliant idea.

"It is well known," he said, "that when one eats a pomegranate some of the pieces which make up its fruit fall to the floor. Go back home and search the floor under your table if there are any pieces there. If so, you did not complete eating that pomegranate and your divorce declaration is not binding."

The fellow followed these instructions and indeed found some of the pomegranate seeds on the floor. The local Moslem kadi absolved him of his vow to divorce his wife and praised the brilliance of the rabbi whose fame subsequently spread throughout the entire region.

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