Israel Forever

For the week ending 28 August 2010 / 17 Elul 5770

We Keeping Kosher Kosher Keeping Us

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
In the tochacha warning of the curses which will befall the Jewish People which dominates this week's Torah reading, we read this among the Heavenly punishments they will suffer for abandoning their observance of the Torah:

"Accursed will be… the offspring of your cattle." (Devarim 28:18)

Perhaps we can see a fulfillment of this dire prediction in the current international campaign to ban shechitah or at least discourage it. Not only has New Zealand joined some Scandinavian countries in banning halachic shechitah altogether, but now the European Parliament has joined this anti-Semitic bandwagon by proposing that all kosher meat must be labeled as coming from animals that have been slaughtered without stunning. Since a large percent of each animal slaughtered according to halacha ends up being used by the non-kosher market, this will have a very negative impact on the kosher food industry.

Is this another message from Heaven that we must, as a nation, pay more attention to our observance of kashrut laws? After all, the Torah elsewhere (Vayikra 11:45) reminds us that G-d freed us from Egyptian bondage on the condition that we sanctify ourselves through observance of kashrut laws. Only the holiness of our people can truly secure Israel forever.

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