Friday, November 11, 2005

Kosher Vegetarians

I always thought it was assur to become-

Jewish Ledger:

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel, was one.
So was Rabbi David Rosen, the former chief rabbi of Ireland.
Famed Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer was one as well...
Besides their prominence, these Jews shared another thingn they were all vegetarians...

Rabbi David Small of the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford recalls a joke that helped him to consider becoming a vegetarian.
“Isaac Bashevis Singer was at a dinner and was asked by the server if he wanted fish or chicken. He said, ‘I would just like vegetables.’ The server asked, ‘Is it for your health?’ And Singer said, ‘No, it is for the health of the chicken.’”Rabbi Small himself became a vegetarian more than 12 years ago.“It started with my wife’s brother. He became a vegetarian and was coming to our Pesach seder, so we decided to make everything at the seder vegetarian,” Small recalled.“We had been aware of the issue of animal rights n my wife is a real animal lover -- so we had been thinking about not eating animals if we didn’t have to,” Small continued. “And a couple of years before, I had stopped eating red meat for health reasons.”The Smalls decided to try vegetarianism for that whole Pesach to see if they could do it n “and we decided to keep going,” he said.Six months ago, Rabbi Small, concerned for his health, decided to become a vegan. Small said his diet is “95 percent vegan” -- mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts and soy.Judaism also factors into his decision not to eat meat.“There is plenty in the Torah that resonates with vegetarianism. G-d says to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, ‘I give you all these plans and fruits to eat.’ Eating meat doesn’t come up,” he said. “I find that the way I eat is in keeping with my Jewish practice…I don’t think Judaism tells you you have to be a vegetarian, but there is a whole variety of clues in the literature that tell us it is a good thing.”Small added, “Kashrut becomes a snap when you are a vegetarian n kashrut is only hard if you eat milk and meat all of the time… There are times when the Torah says to eat animal products in a special sacrificial setting n but maybe we weren’t meant to do it all the time.”..
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 12:22 AM

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