Who isn’t turned off by a hypocrite? Most of us try to keep away from people who act outwardly righteous, yet are immoral on the inside. Judaism admires the quality of being “of one mouth and one heart,” people who feel as they act.

But, that doesn’t mean you should always act or say what you feel!

Sure, we appreciate honesty, but not if it means being ruthlessly insulting or grouchy every time we’re in a lousy mood. Clearly, there are times when our insides are better left inside. Everyone around us doesn’t need to suffer from our inner negativity or bad tempers.

We learn this concept in Shemini, from the pig. Kosher land animals must chew their cuds and have split hoofs. The Torah lists four animals that have only one kosher symbol and are therefore not kosher. The camel, hyrax, and hare chew their cud but don’t have split hoofs, whereas, only the pig has split hooves but does not chew its cud.

And the swine, though it divides the hoof and is cloven-footed, yet it does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you (Lev. 11:7).

The Midrash compares the swine to an individual who acts more “kosher” or righteous than he actually is. “The swine, when reclining, puts forth its hooves, as if to say, ‘See, I am kosher!’” Such hypocritical, deceitful behavior is reprehensible to us, and perhaps that is why the pig has become the archetype of non-kosher animals.

Yet, the Hebrew name for a pig is chazir, which literally means, to return.

“Why is its name called chazir? Because in the future, G‑d will return it to Israel.” (Ritv’a, Kidushin 49b)

The pig’s Hebrew name hints that it is unkosher for as long as it only has split hoofs. In the era of Moshiach, however, when its nature will be altered and it will also chew its cud, it will become kosher. (Ohr HaChaim)

The physical symbols of kosher animals represent spiritual characteristics. Regurgitating its cud reflects the quality where one’s inner character is refined and introspective. Split hooves, the animal’s limb of activity, reflect outward, practical good deeds. The pig has split hooves, its good deeds are many, but its innards are not yet refined.

From all the non-kosher animals, the pig is unique in its “return” to kosher status in the time of Moshiach when the world will be cleansed of negativity.

And thus the pig has an important message for us.

While we strive to be “kosher” in both our inner character as well as our outward deeds, no one is perfect. Just because your insides aren’t yet perfectly refined doesn’t mean your deeds should be just as imperfect. If you are feeling angry, don’t lash out or yell. If you are feeling stingy, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open your purse.

Focus on doing good deeds and acting outwardly kindly. Eventually, your insides, too, will follow.