Mishnah Berurah Tiferet

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THE POMEGRANATE SEED THAT SAVED THE DAY

By: L. Azar

“Hashem’s salvation [arrives] like the blink of an eye” – and the salvation can come via the unlikeliest of conduits, too.

That’s what I learned one recent Sunday as I arrived home from the emergency room with my no-longer-dehydrated son.

Permit me to explain why I call sitting in an emergency room with a sick child an “unlikely conduit.” After all, that seems run of the mill enough, does it not?

My son’s stomach virus had been going strong for three days, which means that so was his hunger strike, the poor thing. Matters spiraled out of control when he began to exclude drinks from his scanty diet as well. (Sometimes I feel that there is no greater gratification and source of motherly pride than watching your children eat well, and no greater disappointment than when your children do not.) To watch your child snub breakfast, lunch, dinner and even “yummy treats” is heartbreaking, yet tolerable. However, to hold your active, tumble sauce-loving child listless in your arms as he turns his nose up at all forms of liquid, is another matter altogether. That’s right; the Pedialyte was a no-go, as were the power drinks, juices, water bottles, and ices, each presented in a variety of enticing forms.

“Your son cannot recover without proper hydration,” the pediatrician informed my husband and me. Gazing at my little one’s greenish skin and cracked lips, he stated, “Your best bet, at this point, is the emergency room.” As we had reached the end of our rope, my husband and I willingly complied.

Sitting in the waiting room’s mint-green
armchairs, I could hardly envision my
adorable little boy hooked up to an intravenous pole, wires protruding from his pudgy little arm. I pondered how I’d manage to restrain my toddler from pulling on those wires for several hours. My thoughts were interrupted by the prattle of a small girl, about the same age as my son, who plopped down beside me. The child’s mother saw me with my little boy, who was crying and cranky. She whipped out a chocolate wafer and several
packages of Winkies. “Need a bribe?” she laughed. My son, perking up a bit, accepted the sweets. Lo and behold, he ate them! Immediately after, he downed roughly eight ounces of apple juice from the Sippy Cup I’d been clutching in desperation for the last three days. Instantaneously, my son was “revived” and sprang back to his active, playful self. The other mother, who accepted my effusive thanks, and I were each called into our respective rooms. However, when the doctors saw how my child ate, drank and behaved as if nothing were amiss, we were discharged from the hospital sans the IV fluids.

Outside, I once again bumped into the mother who had offered my son the treats that saved the day. Her expression of relief mirrored my own. I suppose we were both “quickies” that night in the emergency room, thank Gd.

“Just curious,” I suddenly addressed the woman. “What brought you
here tonight?”

“My daughter pushed a pomegranate seed up her nose that I could not remove.”

A pomegranate seed!

So, yes, Hashem wanted the Azar family in the emergency room that Sunday night. But when the time was ripe, He planted another two-year-old
beside us, who had planted a tiny, harmless pomegranate seed up her nose to facilitate my son’s salvation.

Unlikely, huh? But that’s precisely
what happened.

Most of us are awaiting our own personal salvation. While we know intellectually that Hashem’s deliverance can come at any time, via any means, it is difficult to feel that certainty on a real and emotional level. Our prayers are sometimes halfhearted and mingled with doubt. But that is wrong. Just as the redemption of our nation from Egypt arrived in the blink of an eye, so will yours and mine arrive, at the right hour. How do we bring that knowledge down to an emotional level? By looking out for and highlighting the many examples, both big and small, of Hashem’s redemption in our lives.

Remember, Hashem’s “strong hand and outstretched arm” can manifest itself in a form as tiny and harmless as a pomegranate seed!