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Parshat Mishpatim

Dear STOCS Friend:

Parshat Mishapteem brings to the fore various laws governing the ethical behavior of the Jew. It also informs us of the spiritual downside of eating prohibited food.

וְאַנְשֵׁי⁠־קֹ֖דֶשׁ תִּהְי֣וּן לִ֑י וּבָשָׂ֨ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֤ה טְרֵפָה֙ לֹ֣א תֹאכֵ֔לוּ… 

People of holiness you shall be to Me; you shall not eat the flesh of an animal torn in the field…

The book, HaDeah V’Hadibbur explains holiness and impurity cannot abide in one domain. In other words, where impurity is introduced, holiness is forced to vacate or is diminished. In many places the Torah points out permitted food as well as that which is forbidden.

The Kashrut laws are not for the physical health of the Jew, rather the spiritual. As a holy people, we are obligated to act and eat in healthy, holy, and spiritual manners.

Often, I hear people remark, does God really care if a Jew eats non-Kosher? The answer is not only yes, but His desire is for all Jews to eat Kosher! Disappointingly many Jews rationalize eating non-Kosher. Other Jews simply do not grasp its metaphysical benefits.

I wish more Jews would be as concerned with their spiritual health as they do their physical health. L’chaim—to life is not only for a glass of wine but it may be said for everything Kosher a Jew eats. To all, think spiritual life when you eat your next meal.

Rabbi Emanuel Feldman once wrote: “When we discipline our appetites and refrain from certain foods, even though they may be tempting, we are on the way to becoming holy, to achieving a sense of holiness in life.

To all a good and holy Shabbas filled with Torah and Kosher food!


Rabbi Shore


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