This week's Torah reading, Shemini, is one of several places in the Torah where we are given the laws of kashrut - the guidelines that tell us what may and may not be eaten. Although the laws of kashrut are complex, the way they are given in the Torah is fairly plain. This animal may be eaten, and this may not; this bird is unclean, and this clean; this class of sea creatures may be consumed, and this may not.While such commentaries are interesting, when I approach the big why question I tend to focus on the one explanation given for kashrut in the Torah: We are to follow these laws to "be holy," just as God is holy.What does it mean to "be holy?" The English word "holy" derives from the root that means "whole, healthy." By contrast, the root of the Hebrew word for "holy," kadosh, means "separate, set aside for a sacred purpose." The institution of laws regarding the food we eat, the very foundation of our lives, is intended to set us apart.
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"So What's the Reason We Have to Be Kosher?"Please download to view full document