As I was saying the other day, you often meet the unexpected in Mallorca, not far from wherever one might be. In Palma’s Plaça del Banc de l’Oli, just fifty yards from Plaça Major, you can find some evidence of the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, believe it or not.
The Jewish community donated in 1988 a number of orange trees to the city of Palma, 18 to be precise. The gift was made in reference to the important role that the Jewish faith has had in Mallorca’s long history. The number 18 is significant in the kabbalistic tradition representing peace and longevity. The photo (below) shows the then alcalde (mayor) of Palma at the planting session, Ramon Aguiló.
During recent road works in that Plaça, one of the 18 orange trees mysteriously disappeared. There are now only 17 of the trees left adorning the small square, which by the way, in the old days was a market square quite possibly dealing in oil, as the name would suggest. I am not sure of the kabbalistic meaning of the number 17 but I am certain that it would not be consistent with the original intent. Have the town planners of Palma’s ajuntament violated the good charms for peace and long lives? Or do we have to worry about peace in Palma, from now on? Or should one possibly just hurry and restore the symbolic number by replanting the missing orange tree?
The sculpture in the centre of the plaça was created by the artist Remigia Caubet, incidentally, paying tribute to the poem La Colcada, by Pere d’Alcantara Penya Nicolau (1823-1906), celebrating the Conquest of 1229. The recital of the very same poem was one of the main attractions of the Estendard festivities on New Year’s Eve in Palma, in front of the town hall.
The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 29th, 2009. The time was 15:33:00. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet. Thanks go to diariodemallorca.es and to the photographer.