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Friday, April 05, 2013

Will Pigs be Permitted in the Future?

From this week's Kol Emunim newsletter, page 2.  Written by רב א ה ר from Beit Shemesh.  Translation and links added by me. 

It says in our Perasha "And the swine, because he parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you."

In Siddur Yaave"tz in Perek Shira (Zimrat Ha'aretz p.19b), he writes:
And even the pig, Raza"l said that HKB"H will in the future return it and permit it, but because of its abundance of Tum'ah [spiritual uncleanliness] and filth, it has no rectification currently until the future when HKB"H will remove the spirit of Tum'ah from the earth.  And scientists say that pigs cannot look up to heaven.  This is because of its falling into the depths of the Kelipot and the strength of its judgement.  This is why it is not mentioned in Perek Shira.
Really, the main statement of Haza"l - that it is called a חזיר since HKB"H will, in the future, return it להחזירו and permit it - is brought down in many of the early sages, among them: the Ikkarim (3:16) and the Ricanti in Shemini.  (However, Rabbeinu Bahye in Shemini writes that the Midrash is not literal, but allegorical, referring to Esav.  See there.  And see also the Ritv"a in Kiddushin 49b and Rosh Amana by the Abravanel, who say similarly.)

However, many Aharonim have alerted us to the fact that this Midrash is nowhere to be found.  The Benei Yissaschar (Adar 7:2) writes:
It is habitual in people's mouths to say that the pig will become Kosher in the future, but really, the source for this is unknown since it is not found in the Midrashim of Haza"l known to us.  Perhaps, it is a tradition that in the future, speedily in our days, at the time of conquest, it is destined to again become Kosher.
(See also the Sedei Hemed [here, here, here, and elsewhere] at length.)

The Torah will never be changed, and many Aharonim, like the Ikkarim (ibid), the Abravanel (ibid), the Responsa of the Radva"z (vol. 2, #828), and the Yefeh To'ar on Vayikra Rabba 13:3 have asked on this Midrash: how is it possible to be permitted in the future to eat pig meat when we know that one of the dogmas of faith is that the Torah will never change and there will never be another Torah from the Creator, may His name be blessed?

However, in the book Asara Ma'amarot by the Ram"a MiPano (Hikur Hadin 4:13), he writes:
HKB"H will, in the future, renew His creation with the 2 Simanim since right now, [a pig] only has split hooves, and in the future, it will chew its cud.  And that which the verse testifies about it "והוא גרה לא יגר" is not future tense, as the Rada"k says, but rather a past tense verb.
And the Or Hahayim in Shemini writes similarly:
והוא גרה לא יגר means that the matter is conditional.  As long as it doesn't chew its cud [, it is not Kosher].  However, in the future, it will chew its cud and it will return to being permissible. And it is not that it will remain without chewing its cud and still be permissible for the Torah does not change.
And it is similarly explained in the book Torat Moshe by the Hata"m Sofer in Parshat Re'eh (on the verse ואת החזיר):
Definitely, HKB"H will not uproot one Mitzvah from all the Mitzvot, as the commentators and researchers have asked on the aforementioned Midrash.  However, really, in the future, HKB"H will change the nature of the pig and remove its filth and its nature will be purified.  So, if its nature is purified, it will hence chew its cud and will become permissible for us.  And no Mitzvah is being uprooted from the Torah in this way since the Mitzvah remains forever - that a pig, who is haughty by nature, and thereby does not chew its cud, will forever remain forbidden.
And a shorter version of this is in Torat Moshe on Parshat Shemini (on the verse זאת החיה).

Is pig meat considered "something that has a future permissibility"?

The Sedei Hemed (Pe'at Hasadeh, Kelalim, Ma'arechet Gimel, #7) brings in the name of the book Mor Va'aholot in Ohel Rashei Besamim p. 6b, who asks on this Midrash that says that the pig will be permissible in the future because if this were true, it would have the law of something that has a future permissibility, and if it gets mixed into a cooked food, it could never be nullified (see Yoreh De'ah Siman 102), and we never found such a Halacha anywhere!  And the Hata"m Sofer in Torah Moshe (in Re'eh, ibid) asks similarly in the name of the great Ga'on Rav Avraham Avish ZT"L.  (And he build the foundation of his question upon the words of the Or Zaru'a (vol 1, Siman 756) and the Maharsha"l, who relate to a piece of meat that is forbidden because of a Teiku [when Eliyahu will come and may say that it is permissible] and then became mixed into another mixture, whether that is considered "something that has a future permissibility" or not.  See also the Ba"h, Yoreh De'ah, Siman 102.)

The Hata"m Sofer answers based on this foundation that the permissibility of the pig will be since its nature will change and will chew its cud, so granted those pigs that are still alive, their natures will change and will thereby become permissible.  However, a pig that got mixed into a cooked dish or among other pieces of meat where its nature did not change before it died will be forbidden forever.  Therefore, they cannot be called "something that has a future permissibility".  And the Or Yekarot on Shemini says the same on his own [YY- the Or Yekarot seems to say a totally different explanation to the Midrash.  צ"ע].

Why will only the pig be permissible in the future?

We really need to understand why the pig will change for the better over any other non-Kosher animal in that only it will become permissible to eat.  The early sages already discussed this and explained this in various ways.

We will copy the explanation of Maran Ha'Admo"r the author of the Hukei Hayim ZYA"A, who explained based on the holy Zohar (2, p. 41a) that the reason they took the Korban Pesah on the 10th of the month and all the other laws that are dependent on the holiday of Pesah is to show the Egyptians that their god is worthless - see there at length.  Also mentioned there is that the prohibition of breaking the bones of the Korban Pesah is only so that the bones will roll in the garbage cans and thereby be degraded in the eyes of the Egyptians and they will see the degradation of their deities.  We see that the main idea of the Korban Pesah is a means to nullify the Kelipa of Egypt. 

According to this, it's possible to say that just like in the Redemption from Egypt, they brought the sheep and ate it in order to nullify their deity which was the Kelipa of sheep, and they nullified it by eating it, so too, in the future, when the redemption will be from the Edomite exile, and the Kelipa of Edom is a pig as is mentioned in Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 13:5), therefore, they will then eat the pig in order to nullify their Kelipa in this way, since by slaughtering it and eating it, it will become degraded and the Kelipa of Edom will be nullified speedily, Amen, may it be Hashem's will.

Finding merit - by the Belzer Rebbe ZT"L

We will conclude with a nice anecdote from the [fourth] Belzer Rebbe ZTVK"L (brought down in the pamphlet "Sipurei Mofeit"), who was known to always advocate on behalf of Kelal Yisrael - and it was habitually said by the Admo"r [YY - I believe this refers to the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe] ZT"L that since the days of the Kedushat Levi from Berditchev, no one has advocated on behalf of Israel like him.  Once, people spoke with him regarding secular people in Israel who were raising pigs in their homes, and he answered them that these people must believe and expect the coming of Mashiah Tzidkeinu when the pig will be permitted again to be eaten, and that is why they are raising them.

For more about this subject, see footnotes 30 and 33 at and see this Teshuva by Rav Pinhas Zevihi Shlit"a.


At Fri Apr 05, 04:09:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Need to comment on this. #1, why would any frum Jew even want to think of ever eating that davar acher? The thought is reprehensible to the kosher observant Jew. I concur with our great sages who say that it is only an allegory and nothing in the Torah will be changed. #2, At that point when the world will be changed, we humans will be changed also & be on a much more spiritual level (there is alot of kabbalistic writing on that). If there are those looking forward to eating that, well, to me, it is mind boggling. I think that the davar acher represents Eisav/Edom and there will surely be many of them who return to do tshuvah. That makes much more sense. Let us hope that is the case. Unthinkable.

At Sat Apr 06, 01:59:00 PM 2013, Blogger Avi said...

Wow. It's unthinkable that one might want to eat a Kosher pig, should one come to exist? So basically you are saying that should Hashem perform a miracle just so you could now eat bacon that you would reject it and tell him it's disgusting?!

Listen, I don't believe for a second that it will come to pass, but I think you are being rather harsh.

By the way, I have assurances from my wife (Baalas Teshuvah) that bacon is delicious.

At Sat Apr 06, 09:39:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avi: Delicious? Well, people also eat things they can step on. Lobster is also noted to be delicious, but the thought is revolting. If you do not find it so, that's your problem. Everything that's in the Torah is perfect and if H' gave us the commandments of which foods to be allowed and those not allowed; we not only obey it because He commanded, but it always makes sense and is always good. Doubt very much that there will be changes made in kashrut in the future, as many of our great sages do agree upon. There is interpretation, interpretation, interpretation. Depends whose you accept.

At Sat Apr 06, 11:11:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

Avi is right, not you when you say "If you do not find it so, that's your problem", and explicitly so, based on a statement of Chazal:

"Rabbi Elazar the son of Azariah says: How do we know that a person should not say 'I am disgusted by pig products, I do not want to wear mixed breeds,' but instead should say 'I want to eat [pig products], but what can I do if my Father in heaven has decreed [that I may not]?' It is written, 'And I shall separate you from the nations to be Mine'; your separation [from the gentiles] should be for My sake" (Leviticus 20:26)."

See Rashi on that pasuk who says the same.

kol tuv,

At Sun Apr 07, 01:48:00 AM 2013, Blogger Avi said...

Anonymous wrote:

"... we not only obey it because He commanded, but it always makes sense and is always good."

If you do it for any other reason than Hashem commanded, you aren't doing it Lishmah. It's a basic idea that if something is disgusting to you that you don't need a commandment from anyone to tell you to avoid it.

At Sun Apr 07, 07:42:00 AM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...


on the other hands, often there is an internal ethical system to the commandments, and it is good to internalize that ethical system.

mah hu rachum, af ata rachum. just as He is merciful, so should you be merciful. but should we really say that there is no value to being merciful? since Hashem is merciful, we understand and internalize that being merciful is a good thing. but if we only outwardly act in some way, then the mitzvos are not transforming us.

we are missing something if we visit the sick only because it is a mitzvah, rather than out of genuine concern for the individual.

in this aspect, I think anonymous was right.

At Sun Apr 07, 12:17:00 PM 2013, Blogger Avi said...

Middos are not Mitzvos. There is a commandment (according to Rambam, at least) to emulate Hashem. From there you get Mah Hu Rachum, etc. But for a Jew, is there intrinsic good in these Middos without them being attributes of Hashem which we are to emulate? I am familiar with the concept of objective morality and the idea that good can be identified and defined independent of God and religion. Is that the Jewish perspective?

And besides, Anonymous is clearly referring to prohibited items/actions and refraining from enjoying them. There is nothing inherently wrong about eating pig or shellfish. We refrain because we were commanded and that's it. Rabbi Slifkin eats locusts, though I suspect most of us find that to be pretty disgusting too. Ones social mores do not define Torah.

At Sun Apr 07, 04:59:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

well, it certainly is A jewish perspective, with Jewish sources to support it, that there is indeed an objective morality.

this is a simplification of a very complex topic. but Avraham says to Hashem חָלִלָה לְּךָ מֵעֲשֹׂת כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה, לְהָמִית צַדִּיק עִם-רָשָׁע, וְהָיָה כַצַּדִּיק, כָּרָשָׁע; חָלִלָה לָּךְ--הֲשֹׁפֵט כָּל-הָאָרֶץ, לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה מִשְׁפָּט. see also sefer Iyov.

if it were not so, that this is all just emulation in the worship of a powerful deity, then i personally would not think very much of the religion. if god were (chas veshalom) in fact wicked, then we would be compelled to be wicked. if that were the case, i would choose to be good, and if the all powerful wicked deity punished me for it, so be it. i would have stood up to a bully.

there is a place for social mores. and yet, you are right that social mores do not define Torah. on the other hand, there is a pasuk of "Lo teshaketzu", not to do something repugnant, and this might indeed be defined by social mores. including possibly eating fully kosher locusts, if you indeed are grossed out by them.

kol tuv,

At Sun Apr 07, 06:19:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, doesn't derech eretz come before Torah; meaning, social mores (of course, meaning that it doesn't interfere with halacha)? Also, customs can sometimes mean more even than halacha according to our sages. Thus, eating the kosher locusts are fine for the Yemenites who know which ones are kosher and have been eating them for centuries, being an available food for them. Even though, they are supposed to be tasty, our Rabbis do suggest to the public to not eat them unless they have been a mesorah of your own community. Sometimes, what is needed is pure common sense and we were given emotions and minds to think with, and to feel repulsed by things which have been prohibited as part of our heritage/laws for centuries, is natural & correct.

At Sun Apr 07, 09:53:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

i'll just add that some rabbis say there is no problem relying on a mesorah from the Yemenite community, even if we did not have such a mesorah in our own community.

At Mon Apr 08, 06:40:00 AM 2013, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Josh: We are not separate from the nations because we don't eat pigs. 1.5 billion Muslims don't eat pigs either. I have far less in common with them on more important issues than with righteous gentiles, who do eat bacon, in the United States. One might say that it prevents me from having dinner at Glenn Beck's house while I would never want to be in the company of Mahmoud Abbas, who does not eat pig even though Abbas lives about 3 or 4 miles away from me.

At Mon Apr 08, 02:25:00 PM 2013, Anonymous RAM said...

Obviously a "neo-pig" that was Divinely re-engineered to have all the kosher simanim would not be the type of pig prohibited in the Tora.

At Mon Apr 08, 05:35:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

I am confused where you think I stated the opposite. Not that I am taking any position on the matter one way or the other, but mah inyan shemitta etzel har Sinai?

At Tue Apr 09, 01:20:00 AM 2013, Blogger Neshama said...

A little late but nevertheless.

Isn't the hazer the only animal that has cloven hooves but does not chew the cud?

The other prohibited animals (from the Parsha) all chew the cud but don't have cloven hooves.

There is no mention that the latter will be permitted, but only the former.


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