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    Food laws: the mind & the mouth – Sh’mini

    A rabbi sometimes has a hard life. People expect so much of him. Actually most rabbis expect a great deal of themselves.

    The two expectations don’t always coincide. An example has to do with food. The rabbi expects that his congregation will take the kosher laws seriously; the congregation often expects the rabbi to be more concerned with the mind and not the mouth.

    The Torah solves the problem by expecting both. The mind is obligated to concern itself with ideas and ethics; the mouth is duty-bound to keep itself pure by eating only such foods as are authorised by the Almighty.

    Both themes are central to this week’s sidra. It wants us to think properly about God, man, life and the world. It also wants us to live a holy life by avoiding any and every type of forbidden food.

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