Pigs Go To Heaven?

In Nedarim 38A-B there is a curious Mishna. The mishna says: if one make a neder not to help someone, he may not feed their “clean” or “unclean animals. A dissenting opinion, Rabbi Eleazar says he may feed their “unclean animals” not their clean animals.

The reason given that one may feed the unclean animal of somone who you took a neder against is wild. The Mishna continues that the ‘clean animal’s” sould belongs to Hashem and its body belongs to the owner, since the owner can eat it or derive benefit. However, the unclean animal’s body and soul belong to heaven. WOW.

The Shikkerdovid would like to spend about five hours talking about this. First, animal’s have a soul? However, more importantly the concept of an unclean animal’s soul belonging to Hashem is wild. It debunks our myth that “unclean animals’ or “not kosher animals” are inherently bad or evil or something is negative about them.

It is maybe in insight into the nature of our Torah observance. We think that because the Torah prohibits something it is inherently “bad.” This is clearly not true-a pig is unclean but it has a soul and its soul belongs in heaven. Therefore, a pig is not “bad.” The lesson is that the Torah requires a certain degree of abstention, without passing judgment. The lesson is that mitzvot are there to guide our behavior without being judgmental. Maybe this should redirect our world view that prohibited things or actions are not ‘bad” or ‘evil”, but Hashem in his infinite wisedom deems them off limits.

Even pigs can go to heaven.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s