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Can a Snake Become Kosher?

Letters and Numbers of Torah—Shemini

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Can a Snake Become Kosher?: Letters and Numbers of Torah—Shemini

In the verse (Leviticus 11:42) that prohibits the eating of creatures that slither on their bellies, the Hebrew word for belly (gachon) is spelled with a large-sized letter vav. How does this allude to our inner struggle against the evil inclination, which is likened to a snake?
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Animal Soul, Kosher, Parshah, Vav, Snake, Shemini

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Arnishel Montreal January 23, 2020

Why would you want to eat snake in the first place ? Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn September 15, 2019

Rav Raskin, what is the deeper significance of the gematria of Snake being equivalent to the gematria of Moshiach?

What does that indicate about the Moshiach if anything? Reply

Kevin O'Neil London April 2, 2016

Not the snake Marvelous lecture, Rabbi Raskin, thankyou.

May I suggest an answer to anonymous' question about the snake?
How to make an actual snake kosher is not the issue, the snake (nachash) represents the evil impulse (yetzer hara) and it is this that is made kosher by connecting (vav)it to the good impulse (yetzer hatov). Reply

Anonymous Germany April 1, 2016

Wow! How essential! Everyone please listen Reply

Rabbi Raskin Bklyn hts NY March 27, 2016

Kosher Snake Dear Anonymous,שי׳
Sorry but for now a snake is not kosher.
Interestingly however, snake in Hebrew has the
Same numerical computation as Moshiach.
I guess we need to wait and see. Reply

Anonymous MCO March 26, 2016

What is the answer? He started with a question and mentioned that it would need to have split hooves and chew its cud. I was thinking he would then discuss scenarios where a snake had vestigial legs and discuss the preparation of such an animal. Instead he changed the topic. What is the answer to the question? Can a snake become kosher? Reply

Yitzchak Chaim June 11, 2015

Connecting the right to the left Thank you for such a meaningful meditation. The discussion about the contrast between right and left is such a rich subject. It is important to realize how we are truly created in the image of Hashem. The human brain is divided into two hemispheres, right and left.

The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerve tissue that connects the two hemispheres. This tissue holds the most amount of white matter (electrical communication cells) in the brain.
Here, G-d is showing us just how important connecting these two spiritual sides is.

There are many symptoms that occur from an under developed corpus callosum ranging from compulsive behavior to life threatening seizures. It is critical that Jews lead the world in connecting the physical with the spiritual with mitzvot and understanding to hasten Mashiach.
I can only imagine what miracles will be seen when G-d's corpus callosum matures... Reply

Sharon October 16, 2018
in response to Yitzchak Chaim:

Also, when he divides the sheep on the right, that represent Gods people and the goats on the left, which represents people who don’t believe. Reply

Rabbi Raskin Brooklyn, NY March 27, 2014

Response to Daniel Eichenberg Daniel,

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the class.

I've actually written a book called 'Letters of Light' which can be purchased through or on Amazon. The book explores the essence of these holy letters, illustrating how they continue to be a source of creation, reflection, prayer and inspiration in our everyday lives.

Thanks for your support.

All the best,

Anonymous new haven March 21, 2014

The Vav This shiur was amazing! Thank you so much Rabbi Raskin Reply

Matthew bounds Amarillo tx March 19, 2014

I always am intrigued by the large vav in Leviticus 11:42, rabbi Raskin does a excellent job without loosening the audience, very important lecture!! Reply

Railssa Brasilia March 19, 2014

Good and evil That is quite interesting, because in Christian tradition, bending over and letting it go, so that G'd's Will is fulfilled is considered a virtue, the opposite of the nature of evil. But I guess it depends on what you bend over... Reply

Daniel Eichenberg March 17, 2014

Rav Raskin, As always so profound, clear, important, and you have a gift to present the information with such clearness and precision. Very useful content plus a super delivery style.

Question, does Chabad have a book can you recommend one that explains the meaning, gematria, design and energy of each Hebrew letter?

(And where to purchase it.) Reply

pedroq quz November 10, 2012

358 that was deep to listen again.... Reply

Rabbi Raskin looks at the hidden meanings of the sizes and numerical values (gematria) of the Hebrew letters in the weekly Torah portion.
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