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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This week's Parsha



"And holy men shall you be to me; therefore any flesh which is a "Triefah" shall you not eat; to the dogs shall you cast it (32:30) (A "treifah" is an animal torn by a beast of prey that is forbidden to be eaten)

The Mechilta states that the reason why dogs are given the "triefah" is in reward for not barking at Israel during the plague of the first born (refer to Shemos 11:7----"Against Israel shall not a dog whet its tongue")

The Mechilta further states that the Torah is teaching us that G-d does not withhold the reward of any creature, namely the dog........(end of the mechilta)

Many circumstances in a person's life can in fact bring a person back to Has...... The torah provides us with such an incident in regard to the "treifah"......Consider the following: A man finds one of his flock as a "treifah". The man then throws the remains to the dogs in keeping with the dictates of the Torah. This very person then wonders why a "treifah" is given to the dogs. The person then remembers the wonders G-d had performed for the Jewish people in Egypt. In addition, the concept of reward and punishment is reinforced with the casting of the "treifah" to the dogs. This person then ponders,"if G-d does not withhold the reward from a lowly creature like the dog, how much more so the reward given to people for their good deeds. This very person is reawakened to his or her Torah obligations.

We then see that from a "tragedy" of the "treifah" a person can be encouraged by G-d to do "Teshuva" (repentance).....What seemed to be a "tragedy" turns out to be a means by which a person can reinforce his or her spirituality. ...........Dovid Hamelach said it best in Tehillim 19:8, 'The Torah of Has. is perfect , restoring the soul ; the testimony of Has. is trustworthy, making wise the simple"..........Inherent in the Torah lies the means by which a person can find G-d.......We must allow ourselves to be open to the Torah , and thereby allow the Torah to do its potent work of bringing us back to Has.......Have a Good Shabbos........


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