5772 Re’eh

In Parashas Re’eh, we are introduced to the concept of “Basar Taavah,” the consumption of meat for pleasure. According to one opinion, during the forty year trek through the desert the only meat permitted was that of a sacrifice. The only meat eaten was the layman’s portion of a peace offering. Upon entry into the Land, the law now allowed non-sacrificial meat. The Torah did not demand of us to travel to the Bais HaMikdash every time we wanted meat. But there is one point of interest: the Torah goes out of its way to stress that the method of slaughtering, which we call shechitah, must be preserved at all times and in all places. In other words, even if we eat meat outside of the Holy Place, we must preserve the Temple practice of shechitah. FROM THIS WE LEARN a powerful lesson. No matter where we are and when we are, a piece of the Bais HaMikdash must remain with us. We Jews must remember that even, and especially, with mundane activities, such as eating, we must act in a Holy manner and comport ourselves as if we were standing before G-d in the Holy Temple. We must sanctify our every act and turn each of them into a Divine Service. In truth, that is the secret of our survival in galus. To rephrase an old saying: “You can take a Jew away from the Bais HaMikdash, but NEVER should the Bais HaMikdash be removed from a Jew.”

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