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1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. 9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. 13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15 Every raven after his kind; 16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. 27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. 28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. 29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. 32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. 33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. 34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean and shall be unclean unto you. 36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you. 39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even. 40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. 43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. 44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

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1 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "It wasn't only Moses that had communication with God but Aaron as well. Just as two witnesses are needed when testifying in Jewish court, so too both Moses and Aaron heard God's commands directly from the mouth of God."
2 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The Kosher dietary laws were not given to Israel for physical reasons but for spiritual reasons. God created a hierarchy within the animal kingdom whereby some animals are predatory [carnivores] and others are herbivores. All of the Kosher animals are creatures which by nature do not prey on other animals and God wanted to infuse holiness into his congregation so that they do not ingest the spiritual contamination of an animal which preys on others. As such, the Kosher laws are in effect for all time because until the nature of animals change, the spiritual uncleanliness of predatory animals remain. When the messiah comes however, the nature of the world and of the animal kingdom will change as well. This is why Isaiah 11:6 states that when the real Messiah comes "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them". Until that time, the nation of Israel is bound by a stricter set of laws befitting a nation of priests and a holy nation [Exodus 19:6]."
3 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Everything spiritual has a physical counterpart which reflects its essence. For example, if someone is a "spiritual" person they will reflect the image of God by manifesting his kindness to others and performing acts of unconditional love towards mankind in a physical manner. People of God reflect his holiness and devote their lives because their essence drives them to. All of God's creations are built with a spiritual manifestation which is reflected physically and according to Judaism the "split hoof and chewing of the cud" is the physical sign that these animals are spiritually pure to consume. The Kosher laws are not about us as much as they are about how we interact with God's creations. Animals tend to signify certain personality traits and characteristics. For example: when we say that someone is a "lion" we are stating that they are ferocious. When we compare someone to a "lamb" we are stating the person is pure and timid. So too, God doesn't want his nation of priests to consume animals which prey and devour other creatures but animals which by nature are more timid and innocent. All of the Kosher animals are of these kind both physically and spiritually."
4 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The Bible tells us that all fish that have both "fins and scales" are fit for human consumption. This is a very bold statement considering Moses himself could not have known if there were fish in other regions of the world that had "fins and scales" yet were poisonous and could not be eaten safely. The Jewish sages explained that this sentence was one of the "proofs" the Torah was divine; for if someone makes a statement like this and they are proven false, one could argue the entire scriptures were written by man and not the hand of God. To make a definitive claim that all fish in the sea which contain fins and scales are edible means that only the Creator (or someone with future knowledge of all marine biology in all the oceans of the world) could say this. To the best of my knowledge, 3,300 years after the Hebrew scriptures were written, there still does not exist a fish that has both fins and scales that can not be eaten safely."
5 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "God uses the words "abomination" 4 times to describe non-Kosher animals. As we have learned, when scripture states something more than once it's important let alone 4 times in 4 sentences back to back. The Kosher laws are so important because God wanted the nation of Israel to be holy and when we refrain from certain "delicacies" like shrimp, lobster, etc. we show God that we recognize there are certain things off limits to us. Restriction does not make a person weaker, it makes a person stronger. By controlling our appetites and eating of only certain creatures, God is training us to utilize self control and restraint. This has served the Jewish nation well for nearly 4,000 years and continues to do so today."
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "As we discussed earlier, these are predatory animals which are off limits to Israel."
7 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Here we clearly see that the Kosher laws were not based on a physical concept but a spiritual one since these characteristics transfer to inanimate objects such as bowls and other earthenware vessels."
8 Sarah R = "Scripture Link: 1 Peter 1 "13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”"
9 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Holiness is a state of separation from the mundane, from the "normal" to the "special". God did not want his people to be just like everyone else, he wanted Israel to be separate from the other nations and as such gave Israel a set of laws that would separate us from the other nations. Numbers 23:9 - lo, the people [Israel] shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations."
10 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "If there is no daat (discriminating intelligence), how can there be differentiation?Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 5:2In the Jewish home, the close of the Shabbat is marked with a special ceremony, called Havdalah ("differentiation"). Over a brimming cup of wine, to the multi-flamed light of a braided candle and the smell of aromatic spices, we recite: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d... Who differentiates between the holy and the mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six days of work."Differentiation is at the heart of what we call morality. If theft or adultery are wrong, it is only because there is a real difference between mine and yours and between the wedded and the unwedded state. If ceasing work on Shabbat or eating matzah onPassover are meaningful deeds, this is only because Shabbat is truly different from Friday and matzah is truly different from leavened bread. If there is meaning and purpose to our actions, there must be true significance to the differences between things.Differentiation, however, also implies a sameness to the things being differentiated. If Shabbat and Sunday looked, smelled and tasted differently to our physical senses, there would be no need to actively differentiate between them. Indeed, when the Torahemploys the verb "to differentiate" (lehavdil), it is to distinguish between things that are essentially similar. A case in point is the concluding verse of Leviticus 11, the chapter which lays down the kashrut dietary laws. The verse reads: "To differentiate between the pure and the impure; between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten," regarding which our sages remark:Need this be said regarding the difference between a donkey and a cow? ... Rather, this is to tell us to differentiate between the animal which had half its windpipe cut [during the slaughtering] and the animal which had most of its windpipe cut.... Need this be said regarding the difference between a wild ass and a deer? Rather, this is to tell us to differentiate between an animal in which there developed a defect yet remains fit to be eaten and an animal in which there developed a defect which renders it unfit to be eaten (Rashi on verse, from Torat Kohanim).In other words, havdalah requires the ability to look at two similar things and appreciate that, despite their elementary similarity, they are to be differentiated and held apart. In the words of our sages, "If there is no daat (discriminating intelligence), how can there be havdalah?"A World of WordsThe capacity to differentiate, as we have noted, is the basis for any moral vision of life. Chassidic teaching takes this a step further, demonstrating how havdalah is the essence of the created existence, of what we call reality.An axiom of the Jewish faith is that G-d is infinite--without beginning and without end. This raises the problem, addressed by all major Jewish philosophers, of how our world can possibly exist, since a truly infinite being precludes the existence of anything other than itself. Indeed, the Torah asserts that "There is nothing else besides Him." But what about ourselves, our world, our reality? Are these not existences besides Him?In his Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi lays the groundwork for a resolution of this problem by defining the created reality as divine speech. In the first chapter ofGenesis, G-d's creation of the world is described as a series of (ten) utterances: G-d said, "Let there be light!" and there was light; G-d said, "Let the earth sent forth vegetation," "Let there be luminaries in the heavens," "Let the waters spawn living creatures," and plants, stars and fish emerged into existence." Citing teachings from the Midrash, the Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria and Chassidism's founder Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Schneur Zalman deduces that these divine utterances are not merely the cause of these existences--they are these existences. What we experience as "light" is but the embodiment of G-d's articulated desire that there be light; what we experience as a "tree" is but the embodiment of G-d's articulated desire that there be a tree.So the created reality is not, in truth, something else besides Him, any more than our spoken words are things distinct of ourselves. Speaking is a creative act; but when we speak we are not creating anything that is other than ourselves--we are giving vocal form to our own ideas, feelings and desires. In describing G-d's creation of the world as a series of divine utterances, the Torah wishes to convey the idea that the world is not something distinct of its Creator, but His spoken words--His articulation of concepts and potentials which are an integral part of His being.The implications of such a conception of ourselves and our world--of reality as divine speech--are numerous and manifold. One is the realization that the differences between things are secondary to a primary sameness that embraces them all. A language might include millions of words, but these are all variations on a handful of consonants and vowels. On a more basic level, these consonants and vowels are just variations on how a minute expulsion of breath is bounced off the speaker's vocal cords, tongue, palate, teeth and lips.A tree might seem very different from a ray of light, as might a fish from a star. But each of these objects is, in essence, the same thing: a divine word, an articulation of divine will. In origin, they share a singular essence; their differentiation occurs at a latter stage, as they pass through the divine mouth that imparts to them their respective forms and characteristics.Thus the Torah relates how, on the first day of creation, "G-d differentiated between light and darkness." What can be more different than light and darkness? What differentiation is necessary between such obviously different phenomena? But light and darkness are both creations of G-d; both are divine words, formulations of the same surge of divine will. Their distinction is the product of a divine act of havdalah, of a deliberate differentiation between two essentially synonymous realities.DaatIn light of this, we can better understand the above-quoted Talmudic dictum regarding the connection between daat and havdalah. The Talmud is discussing the fact that in the evening prayers recited after the close of Shabbat, the text of the Havdalah is inserted in the prayer which begins: "You grant daat to man, and teach the human being understanding; grant us, from You, wisdom, understanding and knowledge..." The reason for this placement, says the Talmud, is that "If there is no daat, how can there be havdalah?"On the most basic level, the Talmud is saying that an act of havdalah requires the discriminating intelligence of daat. On a deeper level, it is saying that havdalah is possible only because "You grant daat to man"--only because G-d Himself grants us the capacity to differentiate between various elements of His creation.For if the world is divine speech, if all created things are essentially the same, how can we differentiate between them? And if we do differentiate, what significance can there be to our differentiation? We might discern light and darkness; we might identify certain things as holy and others as mundane; we might designate the first six days of the week for material achievement and its seventh day for spiritual rest; but if all of these are, in essence, divine words, what power have we to differentiate between them?But G-d wanted a moral world--a world in which the deeds of man are purposeful and meaningful. So He imparted variety, diversity and distinction to His creation, decreeing that the differences between things should possess import and significance. His act of creation was an act of havdalah--of differentiating between essentially similar entities. And He granted the human being a mind capable of appreciating the paradox of havdalah--the paradox of meaningful difference imposed upon intrinsic synonymy--thereby empowering us to implement, through our awareness and our actions, the differentiations He decreed in His world.The Second ParadoxHavdalah carries another paradox--that its ultimate function is to join and unite the very things it comes to differentiate.The Torah commands us to remember and to preserve the day of Shabbat--to distinguish it, in mind, word and deed, from the six days of work. Yet Shabbat is integrally bound to the other days of the week. It is the culmination of our weekday endeavors--the day on which all that we labored for and achieved in the preceding six days ascends on high, attaining its most complete and perfect realization. And Shabbat is the day from which all days are blessed--the source of the fortitude and energy that drives our efforts of the workweek that follows it.We are told to preserve our uniqueness as Jews--to safeguard the delineation between Israel and the nations. Yet the people of Israel are designated to serve as "a light unto the nations," as the conveyers of the ethos and ideals of Torah to all inhabitants of the earth.We are instructed to differentiate between the holy and the mundane--to embrace what is sacred and G-dly in our lives while exercising wariness and restraint in the material aspects of life. At the same time, we are told that "the purpose of man's creation, and of the creation of all worlds, spiritual and material is to make for G-d a dwelling place in the lowly realms"--to involve our everyday material pursuits in the quest to know and serve G-d, thereby making Him at home in the lowliest, most mundane stratum of creation.For it is only through our awareness and enforcement of the boundaries within creation that these objectives can be achieved. Only if Shabbat is preserved in its distinctiveness and transcendence can it elevate and empower the other six days of the week. Only in their uniqueness as G-d's chosen people does the nation of Israel have anything of true value to offer the peoples of the world. Only when our spiritual life is kept inviolably apart from the coarsening influence of the material can it in turn sanctify the material by enlisting it to serve its spiritual aims.From Unity to SymphonyHavdalah is the substance of our daily lives, as every hour and moment confronts us with the challenge to define and differentiate--to distinguish between right and wrong, between holy and mundane. But these delineations are merely a means to an end, a process springing from a primordial unity and leading toward a future synthesis.In origin and essence, all is one. But an even deeper unity is achieved when differentiations and demarcations are imposed upon the primordial oneness, and its component parts are each given a distinct role in creations symphonious expression of the goodness and perfection of its Creator.Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chassidut"