Shemini – Sh’vi’i

Creepy

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

If a dead creeping thing fell into a clay vessel, the contents of the vessel would become unclean. The pot itself is irreparable and must be broken. Any food that has at some point been made wet with water or a similar liquid is susceptible to ritual uncleanliness. A clay oven becomes impure through such contact, so it must be taken apart.

You know what won’t be made impure by contact with such a corpse? A mikvah or a flowing spring. (Also, grain that has been harvested but has never become wet since being detached from the ground.)

If a kosher animal dies without being ritually slaughtered, then its carcass also makes a person impure until sunset (and, if carried or eaten from, his clothes as well).

The creeping animals are not kosher and may not be eaten – no exceptions. If a person eats them, he makes himself disgusting, G-d says. He brought us out of Egypt and, since He is holy, we should strive to be holy as well.

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