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D'var Torah:
Weekly Torah Portion Commentary

Acharei Mot - 5/2/24

Acharei Mot is one of three places in the Torah where the prohibition against ingesting blood is mentioned.  This prohibition is one of many laws relating to kashrut, the Jewish dietary practices that are found in the Torah, although many other kashrut practices are post-biblical.  When an animal is slaughtered for kosher consumption, all of the blood is drained from the meat, and the meat is additionally salted to more fully remove the blood.  Some kashrut-observant Jews are even very careful not to use an egg that has a drop of blood in it. 

This is done as a way of acknowledging that killing and animal is taking a life, and we should not enjoy meat without some cognizance of that harsh truth.  Lev 17: 14 puts it this way: “For the life of all flesh—its blood is its life.  Therefore, I say to the Israelite people: You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh….”  In Reform Judaism, we do not require kashrut observance, but taking on kashrut or aspects of it can be a way to bring a sense of the sacred into our lives.  Vegetarianism or eating only kosher meat are choices that some liberal Jews make for this purpose. 

-Rabbi Dena A. Feingold


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