Congregation Yehuda Moshe is an Orthodox synagogue located in Lincolnwood, Illinois meeting the diverse needs of our Jewish community. In addition to twice-daily Minyanim, we offer youth classes, adult classes, a fully functional Mikvah, and a variety of events throughout the year. We have classes that appeal to the needs of everyone young or old, beginner or Torah scholar. Our congregation is made up of diverse individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds. Our goal is to warmly welcome and spiritually inspire our members, our guests, and the entire Jewish community. Most of the community is enclosed within an Eruv (Please contact the Shul office or click on the Eruv link along the left side of this page, for current Eruv information). Whether you’re just visiting our area or considering a move to Lincolnwood or South Skokie, come spend a Shabbat with us. We’re confident you’ll find the experience spiritually enriching, warm, and just plain fun. New members of all levels of observance are always welcomed. Centrally located, just 5 blocks from the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, we’re just 15 minutes from Downtown Chicago or 15 minutes from O’Hare Airport.
D’Var Torah: In today’s Parsha, we read about the laws of kashrus. What makes an animal, bird and fish fit to be eaten and what disqualifies them from our menus. The Torah defines kosher animals as an animal that has completely split hooves and chew its cud.
Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky raises a question from the description in the Parsha. The Torah lists four animals that only have one of these two kosher characteristics – the camel, the rockbadger, the hare and the pig. For each of these animals, the Torah states the reason that it is not kosher. The camel, rockbadger and hare don’t have completely split hooves, while the pig does not chew its cud.
Now, if this was all that the Torah wrote, it would be fine. However, the Torah adds for each of the four animals the kosher characteristic that it displays. The Torah writes that we cannot eat the camel because it chews its cud but does not have completely split hooves. The rockbadger chews its cud but does not have completely split hooves. The hare chews its cud but does not have completely split hooves. The pig has completely split hooves but does not chew its cud. What is the purpose of telling us the kosher characteristic? It is the non-kosher characteristic that prevents us from eating it?
These animals – so-to-speak – try to ensure that everybody will consider them to be “kosher”. The camel, rockbadger and hare show that they chew their cud. The pig displays its split hooves as if to say, “see, I am a kosher animal!”. However, reality teaches us that they are not kosher. They only look kosher.
There are people who do their best to make sure that everybody knows they are a good person . . . they are a good Jew . . . because they keep this mitzva or that mitzva. They might violate several other mitzvos, but that seems to matter little to them and they don’t mind letting you know that they violate those mitzvos. As long as the world thinks they are good, that is all that matters. Their behavior in private is of no consequence. The Torah teaches us that we must not only show outwardly that we are kosher. Our behavior in private must also be kosher.