Elevation into Holiness

Earlier today, I was reading an article about shechita. It talked about the spiritual background of the practice, and explained how the ritual slaughter method carried a great deal of meaning. The animals we eat, cattle for example, come from the coarsest environment of all. They live amidst the dirt of the world and represent something which isn’t exactly Holy. How are we to transform this coarse background into something spiritually elevated?

Enter the role of shechita.

When we slaughter animals according to G-d’s laws, we are minimising the animal’s suffering- but there are plenty of rules we would probably rather not follow. They’re difficult to understand, time consuming, or messy. And at the next stage, when we shop at the supermarket, we have to pay more and search harder to find correctly slaughtered meat. It’s a challenge. And it’s through this challenge that we elevate the coarseness into spirituality.

This is why shechita is so important. It’s not about us. It’s about G-d. And through our devotion to Him and His laws, we can take something simple, and make it Holy.


7 thoughts on “Elevation into Holiness

  1. I love how halakhah is applied even to the seemingly most mundane details of our lives to elevate them into something higher. Wonderful observation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The challenge is NOT to have a supermarket with kosher meat OR a shoichet to do it for you. The challenge is to buy live chicken and to shecht it by the back door while the antisemitic neighbors are loudly cursing the Jews (it’s a good thing my grandfather, Oleve v’Sholom, was trained as a shoichet in his youth!). And, of course, not having meat because, obviously, you can’t buy a live cow and shecht it by the back door is a much lesser challenge – chicken is much healthier than red meat anyway, and fish was plentiful in the Black Sea…
    I sometimes wish that people who cite the hardships of finding kosher this or that in their local stores, as an excuse to eat treif food, were introduced to those conditions.

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    1. Devorah- so sorry if my words upset you in any way. I truly didn’t mean to complain. For what it’s worth, I’m a vegetarian, so I’ve never experienced either struggle- I was just trying to relate to my readers.

      So sorry to hear of the nisyonos your family have experienced. I truly admire what they did. May your grandfather’s neshomo have an Aaliyah!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omein! Oh no, I have to apologize for my rant! You wrote a great article, as always, and my reaction was certainly not to your words, but to comments I’ve been hearing from various people over the years.
        My family was exceptional in that, in the atmosphere of government-sanctioned antisemitism, when having a Seder, for instance, was considered a subversive activity punishable by 8 – 15 years of hard labor, my grandparents managed to preserve Yiddishkeit and keep a kosher home. My grandfather knew the entire Haggadah by heart – imagine that! I was so very fortunate to have been born into this family and brought up by my grandparents!

        Liked by 1 person

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