As I glanced at the month of June in my Hebrew calendar, which always includes one interesting annotation or another, I was drawn to the paragraphs addressing Food for the Soul. The column went on to describe many of the kosher laws we find in Leviticus.
We were commanded to avoid pork, shellfish and other scavengers, to eat only kosher animals slaughtered in a prescribed manner and to keep milk and meat separate. Many of our more traditional brethren also eat only those packaged products bearing kosher certifications or hechshers.
The word kosher means fit, clean, proper or legitimate and following the rules above are meant to make our eating “right.” But, as I read, it felt as though something was missing…
In Isaiah, we read, “share your bread with the hungry…offer your compassion to the hungry and satisfy the famished creature—then shall your light shine in darkness.”
My light went on as I continued to look at the calendar, too. It is meaningful for many of us to follow the laws of kashrut, but perhaps the most meaningful way to make our meals kosher is to share them. There are myriad pathways toward this form of kashrut and toward making our bounty even more clean, fit and proper. Missions will accept prepared meals and food banks welcome non-perishables. Many schools are more than open to help as they offer what are sometimes the only balanced meals their students receive. Yes, we have been commanded to separate milk from meat, but let’s remember not to separate ourselves from those who need us most.