Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: The Torah Determines What is Kosher

You are thinking... "I can skip this one; obviously the Torah determines what's kosher and what's not.  Duh."  But you are also thinking, "What does he have up his sleeve?"

So here is the starting point: There is an interesting halacha that if an unmarked package of meat is found outside a row of butcher shops, 5 kosher and 4 treif, then the meat is kosher.  Not "considered kosher", not "if you ate it, b'di'avad you are ok", not even "you are permitted to be meikel."  To the contrary, l'chatchila you are permitted to eat it; b'tei'avon.  The technical term is, "kol ha'poresh, min ha'rov poresh" -- anything that is separated [from it's source] is [treated as having been] separated from [whichever source] is the majority.  This package of meat is separated from it's source (a butcher shop), the majority of butcher shops (from which it could have come) are kosher; so it is kosher.

Now you are thinking, "Wait!  Either it's kosher or not.  You can't change the m'tzi'us (physical reality)."  Well... yes and no.  True, you can't change the physical reality, but the physical reality is not what makes it kosher.  In fact, every piece of kosher meat starts of as non-kosher -- it's eiver min ha'chai, which is assur even to a goy.  The Torah gives rules of how to transform that non-kosher meat into a kosher piece of meat.  The rules include using a knife, proper kavanah, only works with certain animals, etc.  There is another rule: kol ha'poresh, min ha'rov poresh.  No difference.

I had a nagging doubt, though.  Suppose I make that meat into my cholent (delicious!) and consume all of it.  On Sunday two reliable witnesses pay a visit.  "The unmarked package of meat you found on Friday came from Ralph's and not Kosher Village."  I will now need to kasher my keilim.  But why?  Wasn't the meat kosher?

Yes; the meat was kosher.  I don't have to do t'shuva, I don't need to bring a korban.  Yet I still need to kasher my keilim.  Not because of the cholent that was in there over Shabbos, but because of the "b'li'us" -- the absorbed meat flavor -- that is still in there now.  Just as the rule of kol ha'poresh, min ha'rov poresh determined that the meat was kosher, now the rule of eidus determines that the leftovers are now not kosher.

Just another reminder that ever moment is a new creation and the only thing that remains constant is the Torah ha'K'dosha.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…