Chelm.org's Kashrut Class 1


PATH : Chelm -> Jewish -> Kashrut -> Lesson 1

Lesson I - Theory

This Lesson covers the philosphy behind
kashrut. In Judaism, practice is more important than philosophy. As such there is no definiate reason for the pactice of kashrut. This lesson tries to explain some of the more main stream reasons. The opening logic taken from the Dresner text. This lesson is aimed at someone not well versed in Jewish thought.

My belief is that philosophy is best taught socratically. As such, this class is loosely structured as a series of questions, and the expected answers. The questions are in bold and the answer is indented and in normal print underneath. Instructions or hints to the teacher are in italics. As in any socratic situation, make sure the questions are dispersed across the students. As, in any socratic situation beware of digression. Decide Judiciously which digressions to allow and which ones not to allow. All the students should have a humash with the following verses marked :

Bookchapter:versePage in Hertz
Genesis1:27-295
Genesis9:1-432
Exodus22:30315
Leviticus11:45-46454
Leviticus19:1,19:26497,503
Deuteronomy12:20803
Isaiah6-91024
At certain times, one of these will be read. It is best to have a student read it.
Why do we keep kosher?
Go around the table and ask each student this question. Try to start with the least knowledgable about Judaism first and end with the student most knowledgable (we don't want the question answered early).
Now read :

Leviticus 11:45-46
Exodus 22:30
Leviticus 19:1,19:26

And reask the question

Why do we keep kosher?
To be Holy

What does it mean to be holy?
Don't expect a proper answer. Explain that sometimes it helps to go back to the original Hebrew and retranslate.

What the word for 'holy' in Hebrew?
Kodesh

What does 'Kodesh' really mean in English?
Separate - Don't accept 'holy'.

What are we trying to separate?
Expect people to say ourselves. These next questions lead together.

Just ourselves?
No.

When we say Kiddish are just separating ourselves?
No us and the wine.

What are we separating ourselves and our food from?
The mundane

Ever heard the term 'Tikun Olam'?
They may or may not.

What does it mean?
Healing the Earth

What does healing the earth mean?
Answer

How does this apply to making something holy?
Answer

In other words, Judaism says by actively interacting with the world through the mitzvot we heal the world and make both us and the objects we handle holy?
Answer

How to the mitzvot help make holiness?
Answer

How does Classic Christianity see the relation between G-D, man and nature?
Answer

How does Classic Paganism see the relation between G-D, man and nature?
Answer

How does Judaism see the relation between G-D, man and nature?
Answer

So how do we moderate eating?
Answer

How else?
Answer

What is G-d's plan for the functioning of the garden?
Answer

What is man's position in the plan?
Answer

What is man's moral standing that allows G-d to appoint him to this position?
Answer

What is man given to eat and how does this tie to his position in the garden?
Answer

How does this differ from the garden?
Answer

Why?
Answer

What does this say about our eating in the Messianic era?
Answer

Is our position to the animals dominion or dread?
Answer

What man's Ideal diet?
Answer

Is the eating of meat a compromise?
Answer

Why?
Answer

How does the relationship of man to G-d effects what he's allowed to eat?
Answer

How does the revelation of law relate to the relationship to G-d?
Answer

Can we bring this together?
Answer

So how does kashrut relate being holy?
Answer
HOME       TOP       INDEX
FRAMES

PATH : Chelm -> Jewish -> Kashrut -> Lesson 1
Last updated on Aug 1, 1999 at 10:01 PM

Comments to stevenw@chelm.org

copyright 1999 - Steven Ross Weintraub