Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Milk and Meat: Gevurah and Chessed

With heartfelt prayers for a Refuah Shelaimah for Menachem ben Rivka and Michoel ben Esther Rivka.
Please add these names to your tefillos.

"You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk." [Mishpatim 23:19]

Ramban writes that it is prohibited to eat meat cooked in milk, since it is an act of moral insensitivity.  Rashi points out that not only are we forbidden to eat milk and meat together, but even cooking the mixture is forbidden.  This renders the prohibition of milk and meat unique in that even the preparation of the prohibited mixture is also prohibited by the Torah.

From this we can learn how far we must take care to refrain from being morally insensitive.

According to the Kabbalah, milk and meat may not be mixed as this would cause the negative interaction of opposing spiritual forces.  Meat is a physical manifestation of the Divine power of Gevurah (severity), as suggested by the red color of meat.  Milk has its spiritual roots in the Divine power of Chesed (kindness), indicated by its white color. Being that these two powers have an opposite effect, they must not be mixed.

Bachaye writes that in the Messianic Era, it will become permissible to eat meat that was cooked with milk. This is because, in the spiritual realms, the mixing of Chesed and Gevurah is not counterproductive.  Each Divine power works in harmony with the other, since both powers respect the fact that they emanate from the One God.

In the physical world, this harmony does not persevere, since physical things feel their own existence as paramount, and will not coalesce to a higher purpose.  Therefore, the mixing of meat and milk in the physical world is forbidden for it will result in a "corruption" of the spiritual forces that they embody.

However, in the Messianic Era, we are promised that G-d will be felt tangibly within the physical world.  Therefore, it will become possible to mix Chesed and Gevurah - through cooking milk and meat - even in the physical world.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick Chumash


Anonymous said...

Bachaye writes that in the Messianic Era, it will become permissible to eat meat that was cooked with milk. This is because, in the spiritual realms, the mixing of Chesed and Gevurah is not counterproductive. Each Divine power works in harmony with the other, since both powers respect the fact that they emanate from the One God.

Where does Rabbeinu Bachayei say this?

Alan Borowicz Trombetta said...

why did Abraham prepare a calf with curds and milk?

Gen.18:8 Then he took curds, milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it all before the men; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

Devorah said...

Alan: Kosher dietary laws only apply to Jews, and these regulations upon the Jews did not become law until Sinai. Abraham lived around 400 years before Sinai. That said, know that Abraham DID keep kosher laws, and did so voluntarily, even before they would be required of his future nation.

If you re-read that Verse, you will see that milk was served first. Meat was served later. This would be in accordance with Jewish law. Just because they are mentioned in the same sentence does not mean they were served together. They were not. It is the order of the serving that is important. In Jewish law one need not wait long after milk before having meat, but one needs to wait a long time after meat before partaking in milk. That is why the listing of the milk being served first is of particular significance.


Devorah said...

Regarding Rabbeinu Bachaye: he writes this on the verse, I have no idea where to find this as I am not a talmud chacham.

This was from the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Likutei Sichos vol 6 pp 151-2 and vol 29 p 122ff if anyone wants to look it up in Hebrew.

My version came from the Gutnick Chumash.

LondonMale said...

In addition to Devorah's explanation, I have also heard two explanations.

One is straightforward, which is the same as Devorah's, but adds that this shows us to give our guests something to drink and eat very soon after they come to our house, a snack if you like. This would be the curds and milk.
Then to prepare a more substantial meal a bit later if they want i.e. the calf, which the Midrash tells us was tongue served with mustard and pita bread.
(It is also in the Midrash I believe that Avraham served the guests' animals with water first, then the guests with the dairy food. This is the proper order, as the animals do not know if a drink will arrive, whereas one can tell the human guest that a drink will arrive shortly.)

Te other explanation I heard from Rabbi Stepsky of London is that Avraham knew these guests were angles in human form, and so not subject to Kosher laws in the same way humans were. But that he nonetheless did not break the laws of Kashrut, but served them with a parev form of food which resembled meat in taste and texture, which was actually something he managed to form using special words from the Kabbalah.

yaak said...

As to where Rabbeinu Behaye says this, see the left column here.

The wording is:
וכן כתוב באותו זמן (ישעיה נב) לכן ידע עמי שמי. וזה גלוי הטעם להקב"ה בעבור כי אין גלוי הטעם והסוד בעולם הזה אלא באותו זמן שכן יהיה איסור בשר וחלב בטל.

He then explains why the angels could eat milk and meat.

Devorah said...

Yaak to the rescue: thank you.

Devorah said...

Thanks London Male, I only just read your comment. I have had a crazy hectic morning. All calm now.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes these are interpretations by individual Sages and might not be accepted by others. Personally, the thought of meat and milk is revolting! Hopefully, this combination will not be allowed.

Could be this is only meant in the spiritual realm where chesed and righteousness will only exist, as the yetzer hara will no longer exist.

Anonymous said...

I see that you don't allow posts on the next topic. Just wanted to say, that if you live NY you will find thousands of women wearing hats above their wigs. It is very 'normal' in the chassidish community.


Devorah said...

Thank you SK, not so much here the weather is often too hot. I wrote that in a response to a video I was sent yesterday where the rabbi was holding up photos of great rebetzins suggesting to everyone that their hair was uncovered because there was a hat on their head. I honestly have never seen anything like that video, given by a rabbi I will not name, and will not link to , although I did send him a private message, he did not respond. I don't understand this need by some [orthodox] people to denigrate tzadikim and/or their wives.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which video and rabbi you are referring to. But one needs to be totally ignorant of the jewish world, not to know that.