Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Then and Now--Campus Unrest


Then and Now--Campus Unrest 

For the video-go to


We hear of Pink-washing as an attempt to deflect arguments made in support of Israel, when it is pointed out that LGBTQ+ are in danger in Muslim countries ( .i.e in Gaza and in  some countries, gays are killed outright), whereas Israel is tolerant and even had a trans-woman, Dana International, as a representative to the prestigious Eurovision contest. These are pooh-poohed as cover-ups to justify oppression of Palestinians.

So, now, we are being treated to “ Jew-washing”. The Iranians have mastered it when they trot out a token Satmar Hasid to denounce Israel. Now, the campus protesters, organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, trot out their token Jews to oppose Israel at campus takeovers and our own LA Times brings them out as proof that the protesters are not Jew -haters.

I too was once a campus radical. Yes, at New York University’s uptown campus, there had been a student takeover of the administration offices, I think in 1968 or 69. The police were brought in to clear the takeover, and I, like my fellow students, were in sympathy with our classmates, even if we ourselves were not protesting.

I  found myself, as the leader of the Jewish student organization on campus, sitting on the ground, first row, as a large contingent of NYPD’s finest were arrayed to march in over us.

Fortunately, at some point, the confrontation came to an end, the police backed off, and yours truly stands here today without a cracked skull!

So what is different then and now—

Then, we were standing up to the police to defend our fellow students, even though we did not agree with them.

Today, our young students, in campuses across the country, are standing in protest against the police—for the right to harass and abuse their fellow students, especially if they have any , any association with the State of Israel or Israelis or even just belong to organizations like Hillel and Chabad. It was bad, long before the October 7 horrors, and our granddaughter had to speak before the California Regents two years ago, about the harassment she received at UC San Diego.

So, I present us with a then and now:




Many years ago long before I want to remember, I ran Jewish students activities at New York University , at the downtown campus at Washington square. It was 1971 or 72 and we were organizing a rally  to celebrate Israel Independence Day at Washington square park, that's the beautiful park that is featured in every romantic movie that takes place in New York.


There is yours truly on the right side of the screen in the white shirt talking with NYPD, who were there to guarantee our security and save us from troubles by some of the pro Palestinians that were on the campus. Now tempus mutandis  I see what happens just now at my old alma mater New York University

 [ I was at a rally on behalf of Israel at UCLA. There were a large number of anti-Israel protesters. The majority covered their faces with their keifyahs or face masks-so as nit to be identified . At least, when I was a student sitting in front of the police, I had the courage to keep my face visible. Today's protester hide their faces to avoid being recognized, so they will not face penalities later!]

This is then:

Flashback around this time, to Columbia University. It is a few blocks from my rabbinical school, the Jewish Theological Seminary, which was affiliated with Columbia University on some academic programs and at which I also took coursework in psychology:

This was not at Columbia, but I recall a huge rally there, for the Jewish right to leave the Soviet Union

And this is now

At the same spot of the rally for Soviet Jewry, where Jewish students are told to stay home and a professor is barred from his own campus!

This is then

 I was present when the Rev Dr Martin Luther King gave his speech in support of Israel to a convention of Rabbis:

    I think it is necessary to say that what is basic and what is needed in the Middle  East is peace. Peace for Israel is one thing. Peace for the Arab side of that world is   another thing. Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our  might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind  saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous ex­ample of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an    oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that  security must be a reality.

PS He did not mention one word about Palestinians! He only spoke about Arabs in general, about investing in economic development and progress in the Arab world.

This is  now

Students and alumni at the historic Morehouse College want to rescind the offer to President Biden to the commencement because of his support of Israel—and they quote the same Rev King, a Morehouse alumnus:

“It’s absolutely unacceptable …,” a student said. “We always want to talk about Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and we always want to talk about the history of activism and leadership that this school has. And yet this decision does not reflect that history of social justice.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/25/morehouse-students-biden-commencement-speaker

Talk about a Nietzschean inversion of values!! Or an Orwellian New Speak taking over, which affects our very own.

Here are links to what is really happening on US Campuses. Remember, this has been going on for several years now, against Jewish students, before the War to Free the Hostages.

From Ted Deutsch, head of American Jewish Committee- He is a former Democratic congressman, a liberal:

Link to video conference about Columbia:

Pro-Hamas and antisemitic protesters are targeting Jewish students with physical intimidation, taunts like “go back to Poland,” praise for terrorists who carried out the October 7 massacre, and in some cases, physical violence.”


Here is a statement, directed to College administrators, from Stand With Us, a student outreach organization:

“StandWithUs staff, students and lay leaders around the world are appalled by the level of vicious anti-Jewish racism being promoted by anti-Israel tent “encampments” on a growing number of college campuses.”


I am posting these on our Facebook page.


Today, as we recite our prayers in memory of those whom we loved, we need to be sure that no one will be allowed to put us in fear, as we had been put in fear in the pogroms, mass killings, and expulsions of the past century. We need to convey, in what ever way we can, to our next generation, that they must stand strong and unbowed, never run from the mob, never hides our identity to pass , to make ourselves acceptable.


Monday, April 15, 2024

Jewish Health Advisory- Reflections on Leviticus portions of Tazria and Metzoranecology, Dermatology, and Epidemology


For a link to the video:


Jewish Health Advisory



We have a discussion in the Talmud about best professions:

Rabbi Yehuda says in Abba Gurya’s name: Most donkey drivers are wicked( they let their animals graze and damage others property), and most camel drivers, are of fit character( the dangers of the desert make them pray very well). Most sailors are pious ( when the ship is about to sink, they, too, pray very well—see Jonah).


And then

 The best of doctors is to Gehenna, and even the fittest of butchers is a partner of Amalek.


Doctors and butchers??? Well, the butcher may not give you the choice cut of beef, but the Doctors?


Rashi explains, maybe from his own experience:


The best of doctors is to gehenna - They do not fear disease. They eat the food of the healthy, and they do not act humbly before God. Sometimes they kill, and sometimes they are able to heal a poor person but do not do so.


So why are so many Jews doctors? 14% of US doctors are Jewish ( out of 2% population).


Part of it is recent history—Jews in Europe went in to medicine because it was one of the few professions open to them—it was not consider prestigious in its day.

But much of it may come from the general Jewish attitude to protecting health.




Our Portion for this week and next week, Tazria and Metzora== may read as a Jewish guide to Gynecology, Dermatology, and Epidemology.

Tazria- opening Lev 12 : Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be impure seven days; she shall be impure as at the time of her condition of menstrual separation.

—Which leads to a Rabbinic discourse on how to guarantee male children by satisfying the woman first, and how the husband has to let his wife alone long enough for her to recover fully. It leads to the Samaritans, who share our Torah, giving the wives full vacation during the week of impurity- so that the women party among themselves and the husband has to clean and cook!

In Yemen, it led to special treatment for the birthing mother for a month, as she sits on her throne and is catered to!


By the way, when it comes to childbirth, Jews and Vatican are miles apart. The Vatican just condemned surrogacy because it exploits women as a child bearing machine—but just the same can be said of adoption. In both cases, there can be abuse, but in both cases, it enables someone who desires a child to have one—and we have in our extended family, adopted children and children from surrogacy. Then, IVF—again, in Jewish practice, it is approved for the same reason-to have a child is a mitzvah, and to make that possible, is a mitzvah.

By the way, as for surrogacy- well, Abraham did it at Sarah’s request, and a third of Jacob’s son’s were from surrogate mothers as well.


Then, we get to Dermatology: Lev 13

When a person has on the skin of the body a swelling, a rash, or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affection on the skin of the body, it shall be reported to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons, the priests.

The priest shall examine the affection on the skin of the body: if hair in the affected patch has turned white and the affection appears to be deeper than the skin of the body, it is a leprous affection; .. impure.

But if it is a white discoloration on the skin of the body which does not appear to be deeper than the skin and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall isolate the affected person for seven days.  …And another seven days, and then…

On the seventh day the priest shall again conduct an examination: if the affection has faded and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall pronounce the person pure. It is a rash; after washing those clothes, that person shall be pure.

The disease is translated a “leprosy” but it, more correctly ,a kind of Psoriasis.


Epidemology: Lev 13:45

As for the person with a leprous affection: the clothes shall be rent, the head shall be left bare, and the upper lip shall be covered over; and that person shall call out, “Impure! Impure!”

The person shall be impure as long as the disease is present. Being impure, that person shall dwell apart—in a dwelling outside the camp.


Isolation, but note--  it is a temporary condition.


So, maybe from these, we get a Jewish interest in medicine.



There are elements of the Torah that speak to cleanliness, as well as spiritual cleaning, and issues of personal hygiene.

So here are some random examples of Jewish approaches to health.

One of the important actions of  Aaron and his sons is to wash hands and feet in a copper basin before they enter the Mishkan to offer incense - so that they do not die!(Ex 30:17-21)

 An example of washing for purity in the Torah  . Did they know something about copper that we don’t? Viruses last the shortest time on copper. … ( Always, fresh, flowing water, not from a standing pool)

*Which brings us to the idea of Netilat Yadayim: Hand washing. Why the hands?

Talmud Shabbat 14a וְהַיָּדַיִם — מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַיָּדַיִם עַסְקָנִיּוֹת הֵן

 And the hands; hands are busy. A person’s hands tend to touch dirty or impure objects.  inappropriate for holy food to be touched by dirty hands, the Sages decreed impurity. ( Translation and explanation from Sefaria.org)


What did your mother teach you?- Wash your hands!


What about bodily waste? I once read a text from a medieval European work, complaining about “ supersticio judeorum”—Jewish superstitions- such as not praying near a spot where there is urination. There is the direct Biblical imperative to bury bodily waste and not leave it in the open. Deut 23:14


Let’s look at some other Jewish health directives:


Our Torah is life oriented, so that life takes precedence over other obligations:

 Yoma 85b

  Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda “But keep my Shabbatot” (Exodus 31:13). to everyone in all circumstances?; therefore, the verse states “but,” there are circumstances where one must keep Shabbat and circumstances where one must desecrate it, i.e., to save a life. Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef says that it is stated: “For it is sacred to you” (Exodus 31:14). This implies that Shabbat is given into your hands, and you are not given to  Shabbat.

…. Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: If I would have been there among those Sages who debated this question, I would have said that my proof is preferable to theirs, as it states: “You shall keep My statutes and My ordinances, which a person shall do and live by them” (Leviticus 18:5), and not that he should die by them. In all circumstances, one must take care not to die as a result of fulfilling the mitzvot.

How was that employed during the time of plagues>

From  The Rabbi Who Ate on Yom Kippur:Israel Salanter and the Cholera Epidemic of 1848-Ira Taub

Despite the prohibition against doing work on Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), Rabbi Salanter set an example for the Lithuanian Jewish community during the cholera epidemic of 1848. He ensured that any necessary relief work on Shabbat for Jews was done by Jews. Although some wanted such work to be done on Shabbat by non-Jews, Rabbi Salanter held that both Jewish ethics and law mandated that the obligation to save lives took priority over other laws. During Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Rabbi Salanter ordered that Jews that year must not abide by the traditional fast, but instead must eat in order to maintain their health, again for emergency health reasons.[9] Some claim that, to allay any doubts, he himself went up to the synagogue pulpit on that holy day, recited the Kiddush prayer, drank and ate - as a public example for others to do the same.

Then , another example:

1836 responsum R. Moses Sofer ( Chatam Sofer) (Schreiber) Father of the Orthodx resistance to modernity. He argued that, when faced with the danger posed by cholera, the prohibition against eating on Yom Kippur could be suspended even for a healthy person, and even where the mere possibility exists that such an action could be life-saving. However, he prefers that less extreme measures be taken where possible, even to the point of avoiding any public prayer on Yom Kippur, rather than suspending the fast.


What about active intervention? Am I meddling in an act of God? Some Christian groups, like Christian Scientists, see illness as something to be dealt with spiritually, for example.

From my colleague: Rabbi Noah Golinkin (3 Shevat 5766)

Question: It says in the Torah “for I the Lord am your healer” (Exodus 15:26). If so, why do Jews practice medicine and consult doctors? Why don’t we simply pray to God to heal us like Christian Scientists?

I) We Should Pray to God and Not Use Doctors

A snake says: “If I was not told by Heaven to bite, I would not bite” (Yerushalmi Peah, Chapter 1, 16a bottom). Hanina ben Dosa, a talmudic wonder-worker said: “The snake does not kill; sin kills” (Berakhot 33a and parallels). A few statements opposed to medicine can also be found in rabbinic literature. The Mishnah (Kiddushin 4:14) says “tov shebarofim l’gehinom” – “the best of physicians to hell” while Avot D’rabi Natan (Version A, Chapter 36, ed. Schechter p. 108) says that “Seven do not have a place in the world to come: a clerk, a scribe, tov shebarofim – the best of physicians, a judge in his city, a magician, a hazzan, and a butcher”.  ( But see item VI below!) [ Again, the poor doctor and butcher are in the same boat!]

II) People Do Not Have the Right to Heal, But it is Their Custom to Do So

Berakhot (fol. 60a at bottom):A person who goes in to bloodlet says: “May it be your will Oh Lord my God that this procedure cure me, for you are a loyal healer and your healing is true, for people do not have the right to heal but it is their custom to do so”

III) A Combination of Prayer, Sacrifices and Doctors

The third approach is found in the book of Ben Sira ,Chapter 38 (verses 1-15, ed. M. Z. Segal, p. 243) that people should honor doctors because God gave them wisdom and they should not refuse medicines which come from the earth and exhibit God’s power. When a person gets sick he should “pray to God for he will heal”, offer sacrifices “and also give a place to the physician for there is need of him too” and one should not oppose him.

IV) ” From Here We Derive That a Physician Has Permission to Heal”

In two places in the Talmud ( Berakhot 60a and Bava Kamma 85a), we find the following passage: It was taught in a baraita in the academy of Rabbi Yishmael: ” Verapo yerapeh – and he shall verily cure him”. [Why the double verb?] From here we derive that a physician has permission to heal. Tosafot comment- this includes injury inflicted by humans and injury inflicted by disease.

V) “Permission to Do a Mitzvah”

In the Shulhan Arukh ( Yoreh Deah 336:1) written in Safed ca. 1550, Rabbi Yosef Karo rules as follows:The Torah gave the doctor permission to heal, and it is a mitzvah , and it is part of pikuah nefesh , and if he avoids healing, he is spilling blood [=a murderer].

VI) A Sage May Not Live in a City Without a Doctor

  A Baraita in Sanhedrin (17b) states: Any city lacking these ten things, a Sage may not live there: a Bet Din. a basket for tzedakah .a synagogue, a bath house, a latrine, a doctor, a bloodletter, a clerk, a butcher, an elementary school teacher.[Now the doctor and the butcher are in a good place together!]

VII) A Doctor Helps God Heal the Sick –

Midrash Shmuel :It happened that Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiba were strolling in the streets of Jerusalem with another man. They encountered a sick person who said to them, “My Masters, tell me with what should I be healed?”

 They told him: “Take such-and such until you are cured”. The person who was with them said to them:

“Who afflicted this man with sickness”?

They said: “The Holy-One-blessed-be-He.”

 He said to them: “And you interfered in an area which is not yours! He afflicted and you heal?”

They said to him: “What is your occupation?”

He said to them: “I am a farmer, as you can see by the sickle in my hands.” They said to him : “Who created the field and the vineyard?” He said: “The Holy-One-blessed-be-He.” They said to him: “And you interfered in an area not yours? He created these and you eat their fruit?

”He said: “Don’t you see the sickle in my hand? If I did not go out and plow the field, cover it, fertilize it, and weed it, nothing would grow!”

They said to him: “Fool! Could you not infer from your occupation that which is written, ‘as for man, his days are as grass’ (Psalms 103:15). Just as with a tree, if it is not fertilized, plowed, and weeded, it does not grow, and if it already grew but then is not watered, it dies; so the body is the tree, the fertilizer is the medicine, and the farmer is the doctor.” ( Midrash Shmuel 4:1).

VIII) A Sick Person Must Call a Doctor, But He Should Continue to Trust in God

Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulay (the Hida, 1724-1806) ruled that today, a sick person may not rely [on] miracles and must follow the way of the world and call a doctor to heal him. And it is not in his power. to say that he is greater than the pious ones throughout the generations who were healed by doctors, and it is almost forbidden [not to call a doctor] either because of yohara [haughtiness] or because of relying on a miracle. Rather he should follow the common custom of being healed by a doctor, but he should not rely on the doctor but pray to God with all his heart and trust in Him.


Finally, back to our quote about the Jewish doctor going to Gehenna:

IX) It is a Mitzvah for a Doctor to Heal People

This is the approach of Maimonides which he states in at least four places in his writings. He first addressed the issue in his commentary to the Mishnah ( Nedarim 4:4) which he completed in 1168 at the age of 30. The Mishnah says there that if Reuven took a vow that he will not derive any benefit from Shimon, Shimon may still heal him. Maimonides explains that this is “because it is a mitzvah , that the doctor is required by law to heal Jewish patients [as the Sages said] ‘and you shall return it to him’ (Deut. 22:2) – this comes to include his body” (Also see Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Nedarim 6:8; Commentary to Mishnah Pesahim 4:10; Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 5).

As a doctor once told me, avoid going to doctors, but I don’t think he took it literally  himself. Then, another doctor told me, the worst patients were his Jewish ones== each one had a cousin who is a doctor, and suddenly, they , too, were experts!!

So, above all else, may you be blessed not to have to go to the doctor’s office, and if you do, it should be short, sweet, and productive for good health.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Animal Rights, Jewish Rights and Kashrut


Animal Rights, Jewish Rights and Kashrut

For the video discussion:



This portion, Shmini ( Leviticus 11), includes in it some of the key principals of kashrut, so it gives us an opportunity to explore how and why it is such a controversial topic:


For centuries, kashrut was a way of distinguishing Jews from their neighbors, even from their Muslim neighbors who observed some variation on the method of Shechitah, or slaughtering of the animal.


Right now- it is a critical matter in Europe, where countries are pushing a ban on both Jewish and Muslim kosher & halal slaughter.

Thus, the European Union Court in effect allowed the banning of kosher meat by requiring stunning before Shechita, a method which has been proven by animal rights activists, such as Temple Grandin, to be ineffective and often itself, an act of painful cruelty.





Elliot Abrams, one of America’s most senior foreign policy experts, now on the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.


We saw another form on Feb. 13, 2024, when the so-called European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Belgium was entirely free to ban kosher slaughter.

In regards to freedom of religion, the court reduced it in the context of animal rights:

 “The Court considered that the protection of public morals, to which Article 9 of the Convention referred, could not be understood as being intended solely to protect human dignity in the sphere of inter-personal relations. The Convention was not indifferent to the living environment of individuals covered by its protection and in particular to animals, whose protection had already been considered by the Court. Accordingly, the Convention could not be interpreted as promoting the absolute upholding of the rights and freedoms it enshrined without regard to animal suffering.”


The writer comments:

Let’s be clear: The court found that the practice of Judaism endangered “public morals.” This, on the continent where the very existence of Jews was not so long ago considered a threat to public morals. Nor is Belgium alone; kosher slaughter is also banned in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Slovenia. So far. The president of the European Jewish Congress, Ariel Muzicant, said after the February ruling that “We are already seeing attempts across Europe to follow this Belgian ban, now sadly legitimised by the ECHR.”



Europe’s hypocrisy is visible to all:


Ira Rifkin


If easing animal cruelty is the motivation, why are factory farming, the isolation and confining of veal calves, the cutting of hens’ beaks, the production of foie gras and the endless pregnancies that dairy cows are forced to endure also not outlawed? Then there is the continued use of animals for human medical research and the legality of hunting strictly for sport.


But there is nothing new under the sun. It is not an attempt to put Muslims in  their place( politely pushing them back to North Africa and the Middle East) with Jews as an incidental target. .

Jews have been targeted all along.

Here is a document, from my father’s archives. Of the same law being pushed in post-Holocaust Germany:


To make it short and simple, the same law was being promulgated in July 6 1951 news article., Allgemeine:


New “Animal Protection” in Bavaria:

The limitation on the killing of animals:The demand for a ban on kosher slaughter


He calls this proposed law the height of hypocrisy, a shameless attempt to gain votes in an election.

. A few months ago, the new head of the Bavarian State Compensation Office described the reparations as a crime against the Bavarian people; Now people in the same city are declaring that slaughtering must be banned for reasons of humanity. In a country where the cry of pain of countless murdered Jews went almost unheard, it must be more than strange to display excessive love for animals by accusing Jews of crimes against humanity for slaughtering them.


Strutting around in the toga of animal friendliness has long been a well-known

anti-Semitic practice. It's always the same circles: they preach love for

animals and trample on charity. We remember the Nazis, who banned slaughter

and practiced the mass slaughter of entire groups of people


He then went on to list the many exceptionally cruel methods of slaughter that were standard:

Should we also point out the cruel method of killing crabs, eels or rabbits? Compare also the ritual killing of poultry and the tearing off of the heads of pigeons and chickens, which is common in non-Jewish households, as well as the slaughter of geese and ducks with blunt or jagged knives, which is carried out by unprofessional people. These domestic slaughters fly in the face of all humanity.


The great irony, he pointed out, that it was the German Military ,in 1894 ,that had determined that :


On the basis of this report, the army administration made killing by cutting the neck compulsory in the meat canning factories that worked for the army. The same thing had been ordered at that time by the Dutch War Ministry for similar considerations.


Going back to Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the foremost experts on animal care, she is working with Rabbinic authorities to introduce methods that are effective, work with rules of kashrut, to everyone’s benefit, and not grandstanding while there are greater cruelty issues abounding.


So, let’s take a quick glance at some principals of kashrut, based on the text of the Torah



The right to eat meat is given to the descendants of Noah after the flood, a concession to humanity, which has become violent, with the limitation that the blood must be poured out. The killing of animals is put on a lower level than that of the killing of man, yet there is a recognition of the concession to human appetite, not a whole sale blessing (This is different from the attitude to sex--in Christian scriptures, it is a concession to human passion- Paul -Better to marry than burn in hell, Identification of the fruit of the garden with sexuality. It is missing in main Jewish sources, though it may have been in the sects that left us the Dead Sea scroll, and are , since then, dead themselves.


In Rabbinic law, this concession is also basis for universal prohibition of " Ever Min HaChay"- the limb of a living being.


This is a minimum moral standard for all humanity. For example.a Bedouin custom( recorded in ancient documents also)- a pre-Moslem practice--cutting a live camel and eating it in pieces. Till today, in China- brain of live monkeys. Modern version--Oyster on the half-shell, the lobster boiled alive.


These two principles become one of the pillars of kashrut:

1)    Ever min ha hay-- The animal must be killed before eaten. This is expanded upon in Lev. 17:15 “That which dies by itself or torn of beasts-- the word: terefah.Torn by wild beasts; Man is distinguished from the wild animal. That is basis for act of killing which minimizes injury and torment to the animal.

2) Dam-Life blood= also backed explicitly in Lev 17; the blood must be spilled out.. . This is basis for shechitah, as the methiod of killing which combines least pain with the immediate loss of blood.( followed up by salting or broiling to remove most blood).


Very clear that one of the very central functions of kashrut is to recognize that the cruel and savage act of eating meat is a concession to our weaknesses, and perhaps our physical needs, with the attempt to  minimize pain & cruelty and to sensitize us to suffering, the very broad category of Tsaar Baalei Chayim.


By the way, many of the very great Rabbis were vegetarian. Rav kook., David Hakohen, Shaar Yashuv Kohen, Rabbi Sacks, Rabbi Wolpe.


          What other value goes into the component of kashrut?

          There is the aspect of health, which is incorporated into the rules of examination of the animal, which exclude diseased animals,”A danger is more forbidden than that which is forbidden. “ Sakana hamira me isura.

          There is the aspects of national distinction, which separates the Jew from gentile ( as it separates Egyptian from Hebrew). This is basis for exclusion of certain animals, such as pig, or horse, or camel.


     2) Other animal rights issues in kashrut:


          a) The limitation of permitted land animals : Lev 11,.

to those w/ split hoof-chew cud-, permitted birds limited to chicken, duck, pigeon, goose families. Elimination of beast of prey-- to prevent identification with violence ( common practice--eating tiger heart to gain courage of tiger).

          b )Restriction of the boiling of calf with mother's milk. Mentioned three times, in relation to festivals. Extended to not cooking together, separate dishes, waiting 24 hours after meat.

Implicit -Emotional sympathy with the cow as a mother with feelings.


Now, today, we have a new option, one which goes around any bans on kashrut by hypocrites:




There are great debates going on now in the kosher world:


With DNA replicated meats, grown from a lab sample of a strand of meat:

1)    Is it kosher if the donor animal was still alive?

2)    Must the donor animal be kosher slaughtered?

3)    What if the donor animal was itself not a kosher animal?

4)    Is that meat now fleishig? Or Parve?

Finally, once the whole world has gone over to veggie burgers, what happens to Jewish distinctiveness?

Also, for all who think vegetarianism is a solution for animal cruelty, what will happen to the billions of domestic chickens and turkeys and cows that will be unemployed and no longer edible. What happens as they are released to the wild to fend on their own? Will they be left to starve to death slowly on the farm as the farmer has no money to feed and care for them?

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.