Kosher Means Raised with Compassion
It’s an undue burden for the shochet to know the soul of the sacrifice. The law of not giving it to the rabbi to raise as an abrogation of responsibility is because you cannot raise an animal and not see its filial Soul, its humanity. For me, blemishes are on the soul as well as the body, as my own. The craft of the Shochet so that the animal not suffer in its sacrifice can’t be divorced from the suffering of its life to that point.
Anyone other than lobbied by those Putting Food on the Table with meat study shows the harms of eating meat as not only personal but global. Beyond that, more to the point here, is that it’s damaging to our souls if the meat being consumed is from an impersonal, factory paradigm of meat production descended from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Even if the method of death and processing are procedurally halachic proper, one can’t dismiss the duty for compassion for suffering during life prior to death, by a humane method of death. For this reason, only for a mitzvah should an animal’s life be sacrificed, with the same gravity and reverence that confronted Abraham in his substitution in relief.
Chain of Custody
In addition, consistent with the law of not having the rabbi raise the animal as an abrogation of responsibility, the concept of chain of custody is applicable in modernity. From birth through death, the integrity of the Souls who handle and raise the animal perforce will be recognized as humane , and not from factory farms.
The taking of any life can’t be a casual and thoughtless, coincidental, I went to the market. Obviously, vegetarianism should be the default in modernity. For those who want to partake of meat as associated with a mitzvah, the chain of custody actually creates a reality that the community is held responsible to ensure that any animal’s flesh being consumed from humane, without individual leniency.
The Gravity of Animal Sacrifice
I do not assert as an absolute that meat should never be consumed, as in a community mitzvah. Cognizant that Is Eating Meat a Mitzvah that Comes from an Aveirah (Sin)? dispels the notion that meat consumption is necessary to fulfill a mitzvah. At minimum people are not excepted from a personal responsibility to know that the flesh they are eating is from an animal whose soul is known. That was slaughtered and raised with compassion. Rather than the two camps of those who embrace vegetarianism and those who reject, by elevating any occurrence to the Gravity of Animal Sacrifice of an animal personally known to you, and few will imagine eating their family ‘pet,’ that distinguished explicitly because its soul is known. Then consider that in lieu of the personal ‘pleasure‘ of meat consumption, each who choose to participate will reflect on the life that has been lost as though their own favored son, is to become such an issue that it approaches a burnt offering, not for personal gain. From vanity in the unnecessary.
Only for a community mitzvah, should an animal raised in love be sacrificed. An animal that hasn’t been raised humanely is treif. And the necessity of that sacrifice in recognition of its gravity is something we will all share. By elevating the consumption of meat to a community concept, there may be one, then all animal’s whose soul is known that is acknowledged as having lost their life in mitzvah for millions.
Hierarchy of Souls
The same old-South rejection for compassion for suffering mentality that murdered the buffalo from the plains holds the souls of animals in inhumane pens and conditions for a life led in misery unto death. I’m not interested in men-as deities’ better-lesser arguments of values of souls. I know mice are human, kill them if they come, but I don’t deny their in-common with humanity of a soul within. They laugh and cry and build nests for their young that they nurse. The young play and are taught, the old ones argue among themselves in times of trouble. They have leaders and followers, plans and meetings. Inhumanity to animals is a prelude to inhumanity to people. While looking at them, we should Never Forget that we’re animals too. Nor that mice are a lot more human than Amalekites will ever be.
Them or me? Of course, I believe in defending myself, as the killing of mice. But, unnecessary killing of any animal is an abomination in men-as deities’ holding dominion. Cain’s murder of Abel wasn’t necessary. The lamb that lost its life in lieu of Isaac had a soul within to be respected: Honored with a life of consideration, as we feed them before ourselves. From that, rather than passing over the Binding of Isaac as involving human sacrifice being rejected, or the test of commitment in Perfect Faith, consider the gravity of any animal losing their life.
I became a vegetarian in college. Tired of the hassles of trying to make that work, I started eating meat again, except I’m allergic to pork. Some say it’s psychological. People have tried to sneak it on me, but my reaction is as real and sensitive as a cadaver dog signaling. How I know as a fact that the Chain of Custody of the food we eat is significant in all events. No offense to anyone, I’ve had some kosher I wouldn’t taste again, if I ever get around to eating meat again.
I get not letting non-Jews cook because they don’t understand that a ‘little Southern flavor’ doesn’t go better with people like me. Over time as with my sensitivity to idolatries, I’ve become sensitive to eating meat. I still say I eat meat, but can’t remember the last time I actually did it. While I theoretically will eat meat, I just find myself having difficulty rationalizing doing it in practice.
Desert wilderness faith in the magical properties of bacon is such that the grease is in the salads. Eating out? Forgetaboutit. Definitely bring your own food. I became vegetarian again trying to keep kosher in my rejection of egregious and unnecessary treif. The carnivorous culture of modernity in industrial impersonal insensitivity removes the animals raised in stalls and pens from humane consideration, denies their in-common humanity. I still eat fish (theoretically) but don’t imagine myself eating mammals. Most cultures who do use it as a condiment rather than a ‘main course’ of slabs of meat. I admire Japanese culture’s prescience to prioritize fish over red meat, the elevated Hindu civilization that stopped eating all meat in compassion for suffering.
While in Washington D. C., I had a serious Jewish food addiction, my idea of soul food. Later, my best friend was a Hindu guru who was seemingly obsessed with: The Food – The Food. We’d go to the Hari Krishna meeting, for the food after. The local vegetarian place we usually went to was dicey. They’d make big batches that would sit in the warming pans and go bad over the week, and if you picked wrong on the wrong day, you paid. The other vegetarian restaurant was too expensive for everyday. So at least we got a decent meal on their temple day.
We’d sit there and listen to the ex-Jewish Hari Krishna drone on and on about should and ought, little to nothing to do with Hinduism except some terminology. All of us would patiently sit there for him to finally get tired of hearing himself talk, and then: The drums came out. That’s when the party really started. Like we were there for the food, they were there for the movement of the spirit, not all that talking. Talking. Talking. Then more talking.
Spirit of the Drum as Food for the Soul
Drums are food for the Soul. Across cultures and through time, the beat of the drum has had a direct and meaningful connection to the Soul. Today, from Aristotelian cerebration, the focus has been on talking, reciting. Anything and everything but getting on the beat. That leads to word intoxication in listening to sermons and interpretations, pep talks. Missives as tablets being handed down, as dry as paper.
I become narcissistically intoxicated in hearing myself talk as the Hare Krishna droning, long-winded with run on and on sentences; and assimilative in listening. Deciding whether to take somebody else’s words for something that ain’t necessarily so.
As I’ve said, Dada taught me I can fix anything in that garage. Obviously I’m megalomaniacal about how to do this fixing the world; to build unity within and then without. I was thinking that rabbis and ulemas can work out some common ground that we can stand on together. Talking talking.
The Shekhinah is the Vibration of the Soul
What the A.M.E. split meant by ‘bringing the devil in’ is bringing in a primacy of words, thinking and talking to displace the movement of the spirit. Upon reflection on the Call to compassion and response, is that there is a rhythm underlying that sing-song, a getting on the beat that makes it partly about the words, and more so about the song. When you’re telling the words of Plotinus compared to Heidegger to Hegel with a touch of Aristotle, your soul is dragged into the labyrinth of dialectical thoughts as this version of Crystal. Talking talking. And more talking.
The reason I’ve always believed myself a Hasid is because of resonance. Niggunim cum Ring Shouts cum Ring Dance are a connecting to HaShem while not talking. In the sound. Rather than just talking about unity, that inevitably leads to disagreements of dogma, as I don’t believe eating meat is kosher in this day and age, and you may, and I’m telling you that for you to think about it. Then we get to consider whether my delivery and style were effective. Let’s unify in the spirit of the drum as kosher food for the Soul. For a vibration of our Souls beyond thought words and telling.
Let’s Get on the Beat
Renewing Ecstatic Spirituality to the Beat of a Drum cites the awareness that the cold and sterile space of talking, while stimulating the mind has the issue of resting in thought. With shruti boxes and drums, practitioners chanting their way into Judaism, Jewish Drum Circles Help Build Community, Drumming circle at B’nai Israel, The Shiviti Jewish Drum Circle, and JEWISH DRUM CIRCLE, all are pointing to the reality that outside the province of the primacy of words to tell and think.
Is all of a growing awareness that the devil of separation, of disunity will melt in our vibrations that is the Shekhinah. To unite our nigguns to klezmer to the beats of drums within, that beckons back to our roots from Adam. Common to All mankind.
We can use Drums: The Rhythm Of Religion, to bridge the gaps in our Fault Lines of in-common understanding in the vibrations of our Souls.
The Drum is an In-common All Over the World
From before time humans have been using drums to communicate across great distances, and within communities. There are revivals of drumming traditions in diasporas, as well as maintaining and strengthening of drumming traditions in locations all over the world as Dance-Drumming Is A Form Of Prayer.
Conventional wisdom is that sterile and dry Greek all-in-your-head cerebration is the way to the spirit as an Augustine thought. Sit on your hands if you feel anything because feelings are about sex. From condescending dismissal Europeans interpreted Drums as Pagan Worship that because African Chinese Guatemalan Hindu Native American Shinto traditionalists weren’t talking and telling about The Absolute-Unity in reverence, that they weren’t aware, the same as Hinduism is henotheistic with awareness.
This while the materialistic Trinitarian Pauline addendum passes as legitimate by resting their gaze on talking about a man as if though unaware. They separate the drum and music into Romantic sexualization in a Freudian substantiation that everything is about sex. So that naturally, Drums are Demonic for those with No Ears to Hear. Without the modesty to discern the difference in the movement of the spirit and stirring in loins. That’s a non-issue beyond awareness that cousins without a soul capable of Awe, will always seize upon some object to judge for dominion rather than being able to look through.
Rather than bothering about those who are and will be irrelevant in the World to Come, the common-ground of the Shekhinah across cultures words and traditions is to be found in the vibrations of the drum, vibrations of the Soul.
The Native American that’s been dismissed as a semi-extinct non-civilization are the at-hand connected to this land drum tradition that is of the spirit. The Seven Drums Religion along with others of Native American Religious and Ceremonial Life will be important to bringing the World to Come. We all know that Hinduism is a premier advanced civilization, but what is not as well-appreciated is that traditions, as Native Americans African and various other ‘pagan’ religious traditions are spiritually advanced in ways that cold and sterile cerebral contemplation can never be.
We are all, with a Soul of compassion within, wandering by our various and sundry paths toward the World to Come. While it’s my job to do to hear, these are doing to hear an understanding beyond articulation. This will be a genuine coalition of the willing to look only in Awe, rather than in fear of a nun’s ruler over a ten-gallon hat. The forbidden tree of knowledge is my all up in the head analyzing everything, crystallizing dialectic with relentless logic. That comes back to the need to get beyond my all-up-in-the-head to return.
Being in Time
The Lubavitcher Rebbe is a reference of my Soul that looks through over a distance of universes, worlds, across space and time: Niggunim is as important to me as the mental of study and the physical of observance. We are all being a spark of Moshiach when we take a stand for All us to enroll in being Human. The Shekhinah moves and brings in a reality out of mind. By this doing, the world is hearing that we’re being invited to Unify.
I am greatly saddened by the enmity and vitriol that’s been directed at Chabad. I don’t think anybody is perfect, infallible. I’m human. Think for myself. They’re human. I understand the disagreements that we have in our Fault Lines. Some in misunderstanding, and others in disagreement.
I see the emanation of The Divine Torah across traditions, from the secular David Horowitz standing for his idea of Justice Compassion Mercy or the Noam Chomsky or the Norman Finkelstein standing for his. The opposition to Zionism Neturei Karta to the militaristic Religious Zionist. All perfectly kosher in their minds. All with compassion for someone’s suffering, the mind is providing the who’s.
What if we All dance together? All His mankind after mankind in unity rather than the exclusivist Kind after Kind in separation. No combative aggressive West Side Story but human with human. Getting on the beat and into the sound leaving our minds behind into the beyond thoughts that is the Shekhinah. Men with men. Women with women. [Yes, I still pray for modesty.] Beyond marking out positions, arguing over whose sages were right and whose were wrong and whether ‘you done me wrong’ or ‘I done you wrong,’ analysis and dialectical expositions of arguments that are ultimately rooted in beliefs that live in castles of words that need defending.
Why Stop There?
Native Americans had the smoking of the tobacco pipe, the traditional Ring Dance soon to follow. As in traditional Africa, communities dance together building community chi, for Ring Shouts that have been secularized in Western compartmentalization. Starting at home, we will expand our drum circles as waters on the earth. The human Soul, beyond words dogmas and doctrines can agree on the sound of the Shekhinah even when we can’t agree on the words. The reason the niggunim is holy to me is that the words are what’s left out.
We can let the words out of our conversation about unity within to bring Unity without, and give the devil a rest, swept out to a sea of irrelevance. Possibly soon, the Chasidic invitation to the Music of the Spheres will unify us within to then extend that Being in Time to all good souls of yetzer haTov of compassion for suffering, feeling the filial Soul of humanity within us all.
We don’t have to agree on anything. I’m not trying to convince you that vegetarianism is better and you’re not trying to persuade me that my idea of kosher is much ado about nothing, and not your tradition anyway. You don’t need to take out your book or me mine, stake out positions to honorably defend with references and a bibliography in man-as deific right or wrong to judge who’s is idea is better on the pecking order of ideas. Who gets to claim the victory of dominion.
To really have ours, to fulfill our Chosen, we will do the communing in the vibrations of the Shekhinah to see by hearing our mutually Filial Souls of All humanity that are an in-common grounded, rooted to the land. Return to unity for Unity to bring the World to Come by singing the Song of Solomon and dancing to the music of the spheres to bring His Shekhinah.