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Inquiry on Judaism and veganism


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Kislev 5, 5769
We are starting a vegan synagogue, and would appreciate your input. 1. Do you see veganism as an integral and necessary part of our Jewish heritage? Why? Or why not? 2. Since the production and consumption of meat and other animal products violate basic Jewish teachings on preserving human life, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conservation of natural resources, and helping hungry people, shouldn’t Jews seriously consider becoming vegan? and shouldn’t Jews seriously consider being a "light unto the nations" and leading the world as an example by beginning to be vegan, ourselves?
Veganism is nice [for the right reasons as I feel you share] but in no way a Jewish obligation. In Judaism you are allowed to eat meat, eggs or use any animal produce. Instituting a community around a Shule that only accepts vegans is a bit radical to my taste; I think you should have a wider common view than veganism, a support group or a club yes but not a shule, there the doors should be open for Jews of all kind.
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