A young TorahTutors student wanted to understand reasons for keeping kosher, so her tutor read Vayikra chapter 11 with her to look for clues in the Torah’s presentation of the rules for which animals may and may not be eaten. The student noticed several phrases, including “for I am the Lord, your God” (vs. 44), which perhaps reminds us that ultimately, kosher rules are because God said so, and the mention in the following verse of His having taken us out of Egypt; she suggested we have a responsibility to repay that redemption by doing our part and following His commandments. While noting that as a chok, kashrut might simply be beyond human understanding, the pair also explored perspectives on the notion of “separating between pure and impure” (vs. 47) as part of building a broader spiritual practice, definitions of holiness and what that might have to do with what we eat, and more.
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