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Life should be a seamless expression of connecting to the Master of the Universe, the Author of our being.From the Jewish perspective, activities that present themselves as mundane– eating, sleeping, conducting business, relationships, etc.– are part of serving God, no less than the ritual observance of prayer, study and giving charity.Compassion for Animals At the same time, the Torah stresses compassion for animals.Indeed, by no coincidence, many of our greatest biblical leaders were shepherds, and the Talmud describes how God chose Moses for Jewish leadership based on his tender care for flocks of sheep.The old man replied that as he watched him prepare his blade, it brought back memories from many years earlier when, as a young man, he had observed the saintly Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (founder of the chassidic movement) doing the same thing.
Therefore, the act of eating is not a meaningless, sensual indulgence, nor even a necessary means of maintaining our physical well being.
Level 4: Medaber – human beings (lit.: the speaking being) derive nourishment by eating both vegetation and animals.
When food is consumed, its identity is transformed into that of the one eating it.
(In practice, this does not apply to those who do not enjoy these foods.) In general, Judaism permits the eating of meat, provided that the animal: is a species permitted by the Torah (Leviticus chapter 11); is ritually slaughtered (shechita) (Deut.
); has the non-kosher elements (blood and certain fats and sinews) removed (Leviticus ; Genesis ); is prepared without mixing meat and milk (Exodus ); and that appropriate blessings are recited (Deut. By eating in the Torah-prescribed manner, and with the proper focus and intent, says the Talmud, one's table can become a virtual altar in the service of God.