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Education Torah: A Proposal for Learning Kashrut

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All too often, kashrut is viewed as a set of rules that are meant to be followed and not understood, technicalities with little or no underlying meaning. But these rules do embody values that give them meaning, which in turn can give our lives more meaning as we follow them. Of course this isn’t true about each and every detail – as is the case in any legal system – but there is still much meaning to be gained from learning about kashrut in a certain way that too many of us overlook.

While the technicalities of kashrut are found in various verses – most extensively in certain sections of VaYikra and Devarim – and in our Codes, what most people overlook is that a more compelling values based conversation about kashrut actually starts in Sefer Bereishit. From the beginning of when the natural world is created and we are added to it, the Torah challenges us to consider what our role is in that world, as Rabbi Soloveitchik explicates so profoundly. Does the world serve our purposes or do we serve the world’s? (Gen. 1, 2)

That question connects directly to how we understand the rules regarding what we eat. If the world serves our purposes, why then are we initially herbivores? (1:29-30) Similar questions persist following the world’s re-creation in Parashat Noach. Why does it take the world’s destruction following its violent corruption........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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