Why Kosher?

 
Why Kosher?

The laws of Kashrut have baffled even the greatest thinkers throughout the centuries. Some have suggested that keeping kosher is good for one’s health, whilst others advise that it is more hygienic.

The truth though, is that there is no reason for keeping kosher, other than God has told us to. In the Torah itself no reason is mentioned in connection with the commandment of Kashrut. The verse which sums up the chapter in which these laws are set out reads: “For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am holy; neither shall you defile yourselves with any manner of swarming thing that move upon the earth.” (Leviticus 11:44). This idea is repeated later (Lev.20:25-26). In the repetition of the Dietary Laws in Deuteronomy (14:21) the same rationale is given: “Because you are a holy people to the Lord your God.”

Whilst we don’t know why keeping kosher makes us holy, that seems to be the underlying theme that consistently runs with these laws. Eating in Judaism is not just about enjoying ourselves, it is about fuelling our bodies to serve God as best we can.