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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Shmini

Kashrut

one of the primary factors determining the level of one's religious observance is kashrut. Thus, it is imperative that we understand what it truly means to observe kashrut.
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Within the orthodox community, one of the primary factors determining the level of one's religious observance is kashrut. Thus, it is imperative that we understand what it truly means to observe kashrut.

This week's parasha expounds at great length upon the creatures which we are and are not permitted to eat. Were it not for the concluding verses of the parasha, one might have thought that the essence of kashrut is focused entirely upon food.

"For I am the Lord, your God - you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and you shall not contaminate yourselves through any teeming thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the Lord who brings you up from the land of Egypt to be a God unto you" (Vayikra 11: 44-45).

And, again, in parashat Kedoshim:

"Do not follow the traditions of the nation that I expel before you, for they did all of these and I was disgusted with them. So I said to you: You shall inherit their land... a land flowing with milk and honey... You shall distinguish between the clean animal and the unclean...; and you shall not render your souls abominable... You shall be holy for Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have separated you from the peoples to be Mine" (Vayikra 20: 23 -26).

In essence, observing kashrut has little to do with food, and everything to do with separating the Jewish people from the nations and enabling us to develop into a "kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." Thus, we see that kashrut observance is yet another mitzva that can only be fully observed in the Land of Israel.
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