Ethical Consumption

Source Sheet

Define Kashrut! Engage students in a debate about what it means to keep kosher and how that impacts their own food practice.

Text

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Thus said God: For three transgressions of Israel, [even] for four, I will not revoke [my wrath]. Because they have sold for silver those whose cause was just, and the needy for a pair of sandals. Ah, you who trample the heads of the poor into the dust of the ground, and make the humble walk a twisted course! Father and son go to the same girl, and thereby profane My holy name. They recline by every altar on garments taken in pledge, and drink in the House of their God wine bought with fines they imposed.

כֹּה אָמַר ה' עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה פִּשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל אַרְבָּעָה לֹא אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ עַל מִכְרָם בַּכֶּסֶף צַדִּיק וְאֶבְיוֹן בַּעֲבוּר נַעֲלָיִם: הַשֹּׁאֲפִים עַל עֲפַר אֶרֶץ בְּרֹאשׁ דַּלִּים וְדֶרֶךְ עֲנָוִים יַטּוּ וְאִישׁ וְאָבִיו יֵלְכוּ אֶל הַנַּעֲרָה לְמַעַן חַלֵּל אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי: וְעַל בְּגָדִים חֲבֻלִים יַטּוּ אֵצֶל כָּל מִזְבֵּחַ וְיֵין עֲנוּשִׁים יִשְׁתּוּ בֵּית אֱלֹהֵיהֶם:

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For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven

כִּי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא־שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ לֹא כְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם הִוא אֲשֶׁר יְצָאתֶם מִשָּׁם אֲשֶׁר תִּזְרַע אֶת־זַרְעֲךָ וְהִשְׁקִיתָ בְרַגְלְךָ כְּגַן הַיָּרָק׃ וְהָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ אֶרֶץ הָרִים וּבְקָעֹת לִמְטַר הַשָּׁמַיִם תִּשְׁתֶּה־מָּיִם׃

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Every year set aside one-tenth of all that you yield from your field, and eat it before Adonai your God.
[translation by AJWS]

עַשֵּׂר תְּעַשֵּׂר אֵת כָּל תְּבוּאַת זַרְעֶךָ הַיֹּצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה שָׁנָה שָׁנָה וְאָכַלְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ

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If, along the road, you chance upon a bird's nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs and the mother sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother together with her young. Let the mother go, and take only the young, in order that you may fare well and have a long life. [JPS translation]

כִּי יִקָּרֵא קַן צִפּוֹר לְפָנֶיךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּכָל עֵץ אוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ אֶפְרֹחִים אוֹ בֵיצִים וְהָאֵם רֹבֶצֶת עַל הָאֶפְרֹחִים אוֹ עַל הַבֵּיצִים לֹא תִקַּח הָאֵם עַל הַבָּנִים:
שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח אֶת הָאֵם וְאֶת הַבָּנִים תִּקַּח לָךְ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לָךְ וְהַאֲרַכְתָּ יָמִים:

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When you have set aside in full the tenth part of your yield -- in the third year, the year of the tithe -- and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, orphan, and the widow, that they may eat their fill in your settlements, you shall declare before Adonai your God: "I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house; and I have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow, just as You commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor neglected any of Your commandments:

כִּי תְכַלֶּה לַעְשֵׂר אֶת כָּל מַעְשַׂר תְּבוּאָתְךָ בַּשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁת שְׁנַת הַמַּעֲשֵׂר וְנָתַתָּה לַלֵּוִי לַגֵּר לַיָּתוֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָה וְאָכְלוּ בִשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְשָׂבֵעוּ: וְאָמַרְתָּ לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בִּעַרְתִּי הַקֹּדֶשׁ מִן הַבַּיִת וְגַם נְתַתִּיו לַלֵּוִי וְלַגֵּר לַיָּתוֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָה כְּכָל מִצְוָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָנִי לֹא עָבַרְתִּי מִמִּצְוֹתֶיךָ וְלֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי:

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7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and [date] honey; 9 a land where you may eat bread without scarceness, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you can mine bronze. 10 When you have eaten and you are
satisfied, give thanks to the Lord your God for the good land which God has given you.
[translation by Hazon]

ז כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, מְבִיאֲךָ אֶל-אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה: אֶרֶץ, נַחֲלֵי מָיִם--עֲיָנֹת וּתְהֹמֹת, יֹצְאִים בַּבִּקְעָה וּבָהָר.
ח אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ.
ט אֶרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר לֹא בְמִסְכֵּנֻת תֹּאכַל-בָּהּ לֶחֶם--לֹא-תֶחְסַר כֹּל, בָּהּ; אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲבָנֶיהָ בַרְזֶל, וּמֵהֲרָרֶיהָ תַּחְצֹב נְחֹשֶׁת.
י וְאָכַלְתָּ, וְשָׂבָעְתָּ--וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, עַל-הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ.

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So, too, I loathed all the wealth that I was gaining under the sun. For I shall leave it to the one who will succeed me – and who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? – and s/he will control all the wealth that I gained by toil and wisdom under the sun. That too is futile. And so I came to view with despair all the gains I had made under the sun. For sometimes a person whose fortune was made with wisdom, knowledge, and skill must hand it on to be the portion of somebody who did not toil for it. That too is futile, and a grave evil.

וְשָׂנֵאתִי אֲנִי אֶת כָּל עֲמָלִי שֶׁאֲנִי עָמֵל תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ שֶׁאַנִּיחֶנּוּ לָאָדָם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אַחֲרָי: וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ הֶחָכָם יִהְיֶה אוֹ סָכָל וְיִשְׁלַט בְּכָל עֲמָלִי שֶׁעָמַלְתִּי וְשֶׁחָכַמְתִּי תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ גַּם זֶה הָבֶל: וְסַבּוֹתִי אֲנִי לְיַאֵשׁ אֶת לִבִּי עַל כָּל הֶעָמָל שֶׁעָמַלְתִּי תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ: כִּי יֵשׁ אָדָם שֶׁעֲמָלוֹ בְּחָכְמָה וּבְדַעַת וּבְכִשְׁרוֹן וּלְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא עָמַל בּוֹ יִתְּנֶנּוּ חֶלְקוֹ גַּם זֶה הֶבֶל וְרָעָה רַבָּה: כִּי מֶה הֹוֶה לָאָדָם בְּכָל עֲמָלוֹ וּבְרַעְיוֹן לִבּוֹ שְׁהוּא עָמֵל תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ: כִּי כָל יָמָיו מַכְאֹבִים וָכַעַ

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As one's substance increases, so do those who consume it; what, then, does the success of its owner amount to but feasting his eyes? A worker's sleep is sweet, whether she has much or little to eat; but the rich person's abundance doesn't let her sleep.
[JPS translation. Edited for gender-neutrality]

בִּרְבוֹת הַטּוֹבָה רַבּוּ אוֹכְלֶיהָ וּמַה כִּשְׁרוֹן לִבְעָלֶיהָ כִּי אִם רְאוּת עֵינָיו: מְתוּקָה שְׁנַת הָעֹבֵד אִם מְעַט וְאִם הַרְבֵּה יֹאכֵל וְהַשָּׂבָע לֶעָשִׁיר אֵינֶנּוּ מַנִּיחַ לוֹ לִישׁוֹן:

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16 You shall celebrate a sacred occasion on the first day, and a sacred occasion on
the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them; only what every person
is to eat, that alone may be prepared for you. 17 You shall observe the [Feast of]
Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land
of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for
all time. 18 In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening,
you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at

טז וּבַיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם: כָּל-מְלָאכָה, לֹא-יֵעָשֶׂה בָהֶם--אַךְ אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל לְכָל-נֶפֶשׁ, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יֵעָשֶׂה לָכֶם.
יז וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, אֶת-הַמַּצּוֹת, כִּי בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, הוֹצֵאתִי אֶת-צִבְאוֹתֵיכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם; וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם--חֻקַּת עוֹלָם.
יח בָּרִאשֹׁן בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ, בָּעֶרֶב, תֹּאכְלוּ, מַצֹּת: עַד יוֹם הָאֶחָד וְעֶשְׂרִים, לַחֹדֶשׁ--בָּעָרֶב.

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