Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Re’eh 5777

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Re’eh 5777

This Shabbat we read from Parashat Re’eh, the latter sections of which are recognizable as the Torah reading for the final days of Passover and Shavuot as well as Shmini Atzeret.   Yet the rest of the parasha should not be overlooked as it contains many interesting and important commandments.  One such instruction comes in Chapter 14 verse 21 which states, “You shall not eat anything that has died a natural death; give it to the stranger in your community to eat…”  What the Torah is teaching us here is that although we have stricter dietary laws, it does not allow us to simply let food go to waste.  Non-kosher food is still food and even if we would not eat it, that does not mean it should be placed in the trash.   Instead it should be donated to a food kitchen or to someone else in the world who could use it.  Surely there are enough people in the world, Jewish and not, who struggle to find enough to eat.  As human beings we are responsible for everyone and if we happen upon any kind of food that is being wasted, it is our responsibility to rectify the situation.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik