Posted by: Subway Conductor | September 14, 2009

September 2009

From Rabbi Michael Arsers:

The shochet came into see the rabbi of the town. The Shochet was a very pious Jew. As a matter of a fact, he was so concerned about observing the laws that govern the Kosher slaughtering of animals that he came to see a rabbi. “I cannot continue being a Shocet.” “Why not,” asked the rabbi. “It’s too much responsibility,” replied the shocet. “Every Jew in town is depending on me for his meat to be Kosher. There are so many rules to follow, so much to know to be sure that the slaughtering is done properly. That is why I have decided to give up being the shocet. I am going into some other line of business.

As we approach the High Holidays, we need to be looking carefully at ourselves. We need to be taking stock of our lives.

All of us are aware of the importance of the dietary laws in Jewish life. We check every food item to make sure it has the proper certification. But we need to make sure that all of our actions have the proper certification. Today, in America, it is very easy to keep Kosher. Almost all food items are clearly identifiable as to whether they are Kosher or not. The availability of Kosher food in every supermarket is widespread. It is much more difficult to keep all the other laws that govern our actions. It is much more difficult to make sure that we are observing the Torah’s rules that govern our speech and our dress. Have you ever found a lost object? The Talmud contains page after page of rules governing the obligation. to return a lost object. Have you ever borrowed anything from someone? The Talmud deals at enormous length with the rules that govern our responsibility for the care of borrowed objects.

Keeping Kosher is important. That means not only eating in accordance with Torah but living our lives in their entirety in accordance with the Torah. That is what we need to be thinking about as we sit in services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

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