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Is keeping kosher important today?
By RABBI KENNY COHEN
18/06/2012
Rabbi Cohen of Machon Meir says Kashrut is a substantial part of a Jewish identity.
 
Many people feel that certain parts of Jewish law are outdated and are no longer applicable today. Particularly regarding the laws of Kashrut, it is felt that there no longer is a need to adhere to these strict rules. The rationale is that most meat is government inspected and therefore, very clean and hygienic. It is felt that Kosher means "clean" and because of all of the regulations and inspections, we are protected.

Jewish History has proven that the Jewish people remained intact as a people in exile, without a land of their own, because of their strict adherence to Jewish tradition and Jewish law. There are pillars that have kept us strong as a people. Shabbat and family purity are certainly pillars that have kept us together, but Kashrut is an equally important pillar. When one begins to compromise his commitment to the Jewish religion, it usually begins with these three pillars. Once the observance gets weak, it opens the flood gates for more and more compromise.

The laws of keeping Kosher are from the Torah and they were not meant to be understood by man. We are asked to follow these laws just as we are asked to follow the other laws given to us on Mount Sinai. When a Jewish home is established following these laws, it brings a certain degree of holiness to the home. We elevate ourselves as human beings as we don't just eat anything we feel, but we know that we must take great care to be sure that what we eat is what is permitted according to Jewish law. We then become a link to our ancestors, who began observing these laws at Sinai.


Machon Meir is a Center for Jewish Studies located in the heart of Jerusalem, in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe. It was established by Rabbi Dov Bigon shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. For the last 35 years, the center has been a place for all of Am Yisrael to come and learn more about their Jewish roots. It has expanded into a facility with over 500 students and classes in Hebrew, English, Russian, French and Spanish.
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