Weekly Letter: The Mitzvah of Kashrus
In this week’s letter, in connection with the topic of kosher animals, the Rebbe gives some food for thought to a medical doctor on the mitzvah of kashrus. This letter is from volume 5 of The Letter and The Spirit.
By the Grace of G-d
24th of Tammuz, 5739
Greeting and Blessing:
I am in receipt of your letter with the enclosure.
If you will let me know the Jewish names, together with the mother’s Jewish name, as is customary, of all those for whom you request a blessing, I will remember all in prayer.
It is surely unnecessary to emphasize to you at length that since all blessings come from G-d and the channel to receive them is through the daily life and conduct in accordance with His Will, namely, in accordance with the Torah and mitzvoth, every additional effort in matters of Yiddishkeit, is bound to widen the channels to receive G-d’s blessings. And since, as I note from your writing, you have made considerable strides in this direction, it should be easier to go from strength to strength.
With reference to the matter of kashrus, which you mention in particular in connection with the assertion that kosher meat available in your area does not taste so good, I trust you will be able to find proper words to explain (especially since you are an M.D.) that the proper food has a direct affect no only on physical health, but also on such matters as mood, nerves, thinking, etc., although the latter effects are often more subtle and hidden. This should be obvious also to common sense, inasmuch as the food one consumes becomes assimilated by the body and is directly linked to its physical and mental capacities, as has also been confirmed by medical science.
Now, the matter of taste is linked with the palate and is of very short duration, whereas the consumption of wholesome and nourishing food is, of course, of lasting vital importance. Insofar as a Jew is concerned, our Torah, Toras Chaim, given by the Creator and Master of the universe, is quite specific as to what a Jew may or may not eat, and only that which is permissible is truly wholesome and nourishing. And, as in the case of all G-d’s mitzvoth, they have been given to us not for G-d’s benefit, but for our own benefit, and not only for our benefit in Afterlife, but also in this life on earth.
In view of the above, surely indulgence in taste is of little consideration in comparison to the vital importance of observing the Jewish Dietary Laws in the everyday life.
Receipt is enclosed for your tzedoko and may the zechus of it stand you in good stead.