Dvar Torah Shemini 1 2001 – 5761 דבר תורה שמיני

In this week’s Sidra we read the laws of Kashrut. The section ends by saying: This is the law…(LEHAVDIL) to distinguish between the TAMEY and the TAHOR.(Lev. 11;46-47) One of the reasons for Kashrut according to this passage is to be able to tell the difference between that which is TAMEY and that which is TAHOR, between that which is good for us and that which is bad.

Chazal tell us IM EIN DEAH, HAVDALA MINAYIN. What they are saying is that to be able to distinguish between things we must learn and be knowledgeable. Rashi here on the spot tells us that we don’t have to be told the difference between a donkey and a cow. That is obvious and everyone knows it. We have to be told and we have to learn the difference between things that are very similar.

In our religion we have many occasions where we have to make differences and distinctions. We have to tell the difference between Kodesh and Chol. That is why we make Havdalah every Motza’eh Shabbat. Sometimes we have to know the difference between two days that are both holy. When a Yom Tov follows Shabbat, we say in Havdalah, BEN KODESH LEKODESH. We have to distinguish between which Beracha to make when we eat food. There are many examples and you can think of them.

In order to be able to make these distinctions we must constantly learn and be knowledgeable in all that we do.

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