Shmini: Chapter 16

Fish and grasshoppers do not need to be slaughtered


Here we read that fish and grasshoppers are permitted to be eaten just by being gathered; slaughtering is not necessary. This is like the heads of the Yeshivas, who do not need to be slaughtered when they die like other men, instead they are gathered without being slaughtered. Just as the fish live in the sea, those who study the Torah live in the Torah, and if they leave it they die instantly. He who learns Kabbalah is above all others, and will have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. Rabbi Shimon likens those who learn Mishnah to the 'crocodiles,' saying that when they have a dispute one swallows the other. If they are at the same level of teacher, however, they all have love at the end.