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Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Acharei Mos-Kiddoshim

Frum-style


Nahar U_Pashtei Parshas Acharei Mos-Kidd
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In Parshas Acharei Mos we learn of the prohibitions of neveilah, an animal that did not have proper ritual slaughter, and treifah, an animal that was not healthy enough to live out the year, even if it did undergo proper shechitah. These laws represent qualifications that are necessary for kashrus even if the animal is of a permitted species. The issue of a cow being a treifah will render it forbidden like pig and camel. This brings to mind a phenomenon quite commonly found among semi-observant Jews known as kosher-style. Non-religious folks invented this set of kosher rules to create a sort of feel-good approach to kosher. They will not eat pig and shellfish, and will not eat milk and meat together, but proper slaughter and the laws of tereifos are brushed over. Fish and meat are eaten together, and most do not have separate sets of utensils for meat and dairy. Vegetables are not checked for insects, and chometz is not sold. A frum Jew might wonder what the point of such a system is, if kosher-style seem to be missing the boat entirely. Chometz presents a major major kashrus issue, possibly even more than pork! Not paying attention to slaughtering an animal properly is tantamount to eating pork! What are these people doing? What does their system accomplish? The answer is truly harrowing. What are these people after in life? They do not subjugate themselves to Hashem and His Torah even one iota. They live lives run by their own base desires, governed by whatever strikes their fancy. The only reason they restrict themselves to kosher-style is to quiet their consciouses and allow themselves to truly indulge in this world without guilt! Hence the shallowness and absurdity of the concept. All kosher-style needs to be is enough for the person to convince himself that he is eating kosher, and to feel as though he is doing a good thing, and all is well. They would eat pig as well, if only there was a way to make it feel kosher to them. What does this have to do with us? The answer is that it has much more to do with us than we would care to admit. We are presented with a conflict between the true will of Hashem vs. our own wants on an almost daily basis, in many different areas. It is truly virtuous for a person to put aside his own ideals, and what he feels he needs, to bend to the Torah’s perspective. But many times, due to peer pressure, or the pull of temptation itself, we stumble. Then, the attitude of kosher-style comes into play. The yetzer hara shields the absurdity and downright contradictory nature of the values we sometimes represent with the façade of looking and acting like everyone else. A person can easily think everything is fine, so long as he blends into the whirlwind of society. The danger is real. We must take an honest look at what motives push our decisions and guide our lives. What is hidden under our “frum-style”, and what are we in truth? May we be zoche to make our service of Hashem really reflect Hashem’s will. A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

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