Shmini: Chapter 14

"These are the animals"


Rabbi Aba tells us that the Tree of Life is a tree that issues from this life. Rabbi Shimon explains how men should guard their mouths and tongues from impure food and drink and from words of evil. Certain animals are prescribed for eating to keep Yisrael's body and soul from impurity. When men do not keep themselves from unclean food and drink they become attached to an unclean place and become defiled by it. We learn that there are ten Sfirot of Faith above and ten Sfirot of unclean sorcery below, and that everything on earth is attached to one side or the other. Scripture permits us those animals that come from the side of the ten holy Sfirot. All cattle, beasts, birds and fish are marked with the signs of either right or left. Rabbi Shimon talks about how God is glorified by the children of Yisrael, and says that anyone who is made in the image of God should not depart from His ways.