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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PARSHAT SHEMINI  
 
The Difference Between Right and Wrong
By Rabbi Chaim Lobel

 
PARSHAT HASHAVUA - RABBI CHAIM LOBEL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

After the Torah, in great detail, explains the criteria for distinguishing the differences between which animals are pure and impure (kosher and non-kosher) the Torah concludes with the following statement: 
 
(Leviticus; Chapter 11, Verses 46 – 47) “This is the law of the animal, the bird, every living creature that swarms in the water, and for every creature that creeps on the ground, for distinguishing between the impure and the pure, and between the creature that may be eaten and the creature that may not be eaten.”
 
Rashi (Verse 47) quotes the Toras Kohanim that wonders what the Torah adds with this statement. “Does it need to say that one must be able to tell the difference between a cow and a donkey? The Torah already explained that a donkey is impure and a cow is pure. Rather an individual must differentiate between one animal whose trachea was partly cut and another animal whose trachea was mostly cut. How much is this difference? A hair’s breadth.”
 
For meat to be kosher, the animal had to have been slaughtered with a razor sharp knife that sliced through most of trachea and esophagus. If only half of the trachea was cut, the animal is rendered invalid and may not be eaten as kosher. Halachically (according to Jewish Law), what is the difference between most and half, kosher and non-kosher? A hair’s breadth.
 
Right and wrong are not always on opposite sides of the spectrum. Sometimes, only a fine line separates the two. Yet, it’s our responsibility to recognize that line and distinguish “between the impure and the pure”.
Shabbat Shalom
 
For more Divrei Torah on the Parsha
Rabbi Chaim Lobel is the Rabbi of Young Israel of Aberdeen, Congregation Bet Tefilah, Aberdeen, NJ. http://www.yiaberdeen.com/index.html

 
   
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