Kashrut

Unclogging One’s Soul from Unkosher Foods

Unclogging One’s Soul from Unkosher Foods

I was once on a plane near a man who sported a chain with a large Magen David. But when the meals were served, he dug into his non-kosher food with gusto and even drank the forbidden wine with relish. Since he was sitting with a group of acquaintances, I refrained from rebuking him. But I made it a point to ask the stewardess, in a loud voice, if there were kosher portions for the Jewish passengers.

Unfortunately, she replied that there was kosher food only for those who had ordered it beforehand. Moreover, my specific meal had been left behind. At this, I made a show of telling off the staff for their oversight, especially regarding a passenger traveling first class.

I did this in order to awaken a dormant spark in this lost soul. Maybe this Jew would remember something of his childhood and become interested in kosher food. But he merely scoffed at my words and continued eating his meal voraciously.

Later in the flight, I asked the man for a light. These were the days when I used to smoke, and smoking was permitted in first class. We entered into a conversation, as I had hoped. The man asked whether I was going away on vacation. I replied that I was going to see a small Jewish enclave where only a few Jews lived, holding tenaciously to their Judaism. They make every effort to maintain a life of Torah and mitzvot. I was going to offer them inspiration. Not your typical vacation resort.

I continued talking about Judaism and kashrut, emphasizing how crucial it is to protect one’s soul from defilement by eating treif food. I related instances of self-sacrifice of Jews of old, who protected themselves from unkosher foods at all costs. These foods stuff one’s heart, I explained, distancing him from Hashem.

“I have full faith in Hashem and His tzaddikim, even though I do not eat kosher,” the man excused himself. “I lay tefillin every morning and am strict with kashrut in the house. But outside my home, I am not strict at all.”

I was pained at his revelation and tried to explain that belief in Hashem while ignoring mitzvot is counterproductive. There is no point in putting on tefillin parallel to the heart that has become sullied by impure foods. There is no reason to keep kashrut at home when one eats anything and everything outside the home.

After approximately two hours of talking, the man asked where I was from, and I answered, “Lyon.”

“Do you by any chance know a rabbi there by the name of Rav Pinto? My father frequently visits him.”

“Really?” I asked in feigned ignorance. “I actually know him very well. He is sitting across from you and has been talking to you for the past two hours.”

The man did not know where to hide himself from shame. He apologized for eating treif food in my presence, and promised to try eating only kosher. I berated him for his deceitful attitude. Only after he realized who I was, did he promise to change his menu. Had he not known my identity, he would have continued eating non-kosher food unhesitatingly.

In order to have complete faith in Hashem, one must first and foremost abstain from eating defiled foods, which detach us from Him. In this manner, we will merit cleaving to Him without obstruction.

 

Unclogging One’s Soul from Unkosher Foods

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Please see below some of the videos showing the wonderful festivities.

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Actualités du Rav

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Actualités du Rav

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Ask for a blessing from the rabbi