Of oranges and peels

The consensus amongst the city is that there is an orange, and it is the best kind of fruit. But they use the terms “orange” and “orange peel” interchangeably, because they haven’t learnt to eat and so take bites directly from the skin, never penetrating to the actual fruit and so the peel is all they know.

Their declaration of faith is “There is no orange but the orange peel.” They take great pride in their distinction from the rest of the West, which takes its orange peel but perversely turns it into cointreau, leading to health problems and lax morals, particularly amongst the women.

Some of the citizens take their faith very seriously and consider it incumbent upon themselves to police their brothers, ensuring that orange peel, and only orange peel, is consumed.

Of course, the worst sin is to believe in orange peel but then to be led away towards its neglect: “I’ll kill you for denying the absolute culinary potential of orange peel!” “All who fail to consume orange peel are destined for the eternal hell fire!”

Other citizens take their faith seriously, but attempt to integrate it with modern context, scientific advances and the multi-culinary tastes of the city. “Of course cointreau is a dangerous corruption of the peel, but peels can be baked in cakes and that makes them sweet.” “Actually, the message is a trajectory, and we are encouraged to use logical inference to determine what is appropriate to consume in this day and age: logically, we can eat banana peel as well as orange peel.”

To which, of course, the former citizens declare: “I’ll kill you for suggesting that!”

Some Western folk feel threatened by the apparent growth of this “peel-based fundamentalism” within their midst, to the extent that there is now an active campaign to promote the denial of the existence of an orange peel altogether, spearheaded by a notable media professor. “There is no orange peel — it is just an antiquated figment of the imagination designed to control and regulate political and social power — so stop worrying and get on with living life!”

Significantly, the citizens believe strongly in preserving their peel-oriented views onto their children, to continue and grow a People of the Peel. Some ultimately dream of a utopian society in which only orange peel is consumed and the memory of all other fruit is wiped clean.

To this aim, they form weekend schools to teach their children all about the proper way to eat orange peel.

Now, if you keep feeding your people and your children orange peel, they’ll develop a dislike for what they think is an orange.

At some point, after about 40 years, the children will grow up and will say: “Enough is enough! This bitter stuff is awful.” And they’ll find something else to eat, that provides them a healthier, more nutritious diet.

So be it.

That dislike of what the citizens believe to be “an orange” will take a generation to ripen until it turns into outright rejection of all oranges.

People will stop buying oranges altogether: there will cease to be a People of the Peel.

Only at that point can someone/some principle emerge from the descendants, providing a knife to cut though that skin they thought was “an orange” and to facilitate the tasting of the fruit within.

This is what is meant in Torah when she says:

Say to them, as truly as I live, says YHWH, as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. Doubtless you shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

But your little ones, which you said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your adultery, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. (Numbers 14:28-33)

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