The next morning R’ Shalom stood up at the bimah of the synagogue and rapped loudly. He then made the same surprising announcement: “No one in the community may eat meat this Shabbat. It is not kosher!”
Again, there was a shock among the people, but no one dared question their respected leader. Early Sunday morning R’ Shalom called together the community leaders and instructed them to carefully check the status of kosher meat in Ein Tab. Within a short time a startling fact was discovered: One of the seals of the community’s kashrut organization was missing! They made careful inquiries and soon the truth came out: Arab swindlers had stolen the seal and marked an entire lot of meat with it. All the meat sold for Shabbat had been non-kosher! The community leaders quickly dealt with the problem, and kosher meat was once more available. Then they returned to report to the chief rabbi. “R’ Shalom,” one of them asked curiously, “how did the Chacham know that the seal had been stolen and the meat was not kosher?”
“I knew nothing of the stolen seal,” R’ Shalom answered, “but as I recited the holy words of kiddush, I saw letters form before my eyes. They turned into the words ‘achalnu ma’achlot asurot’, ‘we have eaten forbidden foods.’ I knew then that something was terribly wrong, and that the food we thought was kosher was not.
We see from many stories of our Chachamim that if one tries to keep Kashrut, Hashem will help him the rest of the way. I feel proud that by keeping kosher, I am fulfilling Hashem’s commandment and am receiving benefits from it. I think that the Jewish people should appreciate the misvah of Kashrut and not think of it as a burden.
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