Dvar Torah Shemini 2 2002 – 5762 דבר תורה שמיני

The portion we read this Shabbat ends with the laws of Kashrut. We are told what animals we are permitted to eat and which are forbidden. Does it really make a difference to Hashem what we eat? What is the difference between eating a cow or a pig? Some people want to say that the animals not Kosher are so labeled because they are not healthy. Can that really be true? How many people who eat non-kosher food are in fact healthier than those who eat only kosher?

The reason for not being permitted to eat certain foods has to be a different one. Think back to the story in the Torah about the tree in the Garden of Eden that Hashem forbade Adam and Eve to eat from. What was that reason? It could not be that it was not healthy. Rather the commentaries tell us that it was simply to teach them that there are certain restrictions and that we must learn to follow the commands of Hashem.

The laws of Kashrut serve the same purpose. They are to teach us that we cannot go about and eat whatever we want or do whatever we want. We must control our desires. In life we have to abide by certain restrictions.

One of the problems with modern society is that we think we have a license to do whatever we please. That is why people disregard the feelings of others and are constantly transgressing the laws of the land. The Torah teaches we must restrain ourselves and live by certain limitations. That is the entire purpose of the laws of the Torah. We are to recognize that we cannot do everything we want but rather we have to live up to a certain standard

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