“The birds and many of the land animals forbidden by the Torah are predators, while the permitted animals are not. We are commanded not to eat those animals possessive of a cruel nature, so that we should not absorb these qualities into ourselves.”
Recently, someone asked me if there was a spiritual reason why certain animals weren’t kosher, or if it was health based. I remembered this quote from Nachmanides, which can be found on Chabad.org, and today, as I was reminded of this discussion, I thought about how Nachmanides’ reasoning applies to non Kosher food, which we must avoid, but not to spiritually troublesome surroundings.
When we live in a coarse, ‘non-kosher’ environment, some of the characteristics rub off on us and we end up being influenced by the corporeal or immoral nature of the words we hear spoken, the entertainment we indulge in, and the message promoted by society.
But as Jews living in the 21st century, at the footsteps of Moshiach, we cannot simply hide ourselves away from these non kosher influences. Luckily, unlike trayf food- which cannot, in most cases, be made kosher- a spiritually imperfect environment can be sanitised, and elevated even into Holiness.
This isn’t just a challenge.
This isn’t just another part of life.
This isn’t just an option.
This is the purpose of our entire lives.
Our purpose is to elevate our surroundings and utilise them. Rather than shunning technology which can be used for impure purposes, we are to use it for kosher purposes, such as spreading the knowledge of Torah. Rather than cursing the opportunities for immorality found in a big city, we are to institute Holiness and ‘build Israel’ in the cities of the world. This is our job, and our duty. And this is how we will bring Moshiach- speedily and in our days, iyH!