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The Triangle Waist Factory fire and the laws of holiness

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_triangle_waist_factory_fire_and_the_laws_of_holiness_20110324

This week, in Parashah Shmini, we learn the laws of Kashrut. We often think of Kashrut as a hoq, a mysterious commandment that we follow only because our Torah says that God wants us to. But Kashrut is also a mishpat, a commandment informed by values and virtues that we can comprehend; in this case, an abhorrence of cruelty. Not only may we not eat, and thereby develop a thirst for, blood; we may not slaughter in a cruel way, because we care about tzar baalei chayim, the suffering of living creatures.

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