By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir
Regarding the camel it says, “Among the cud-chewing, hoofed animals, these are the
ones that you may not eat: The camel shall be unclean to you although it brings up its cud,
since it does not have a true hoof” (Leviticus 11:4). Regarding the pig it says, “The pig shall
be unclean to you although it has a true split hoof, since it does not chew its cud” (v. 7).
These two animals have marks of both the kosher animals and the nonkosher animals, but
the Torah declares unequivocally, “They are unclean to you” (v. 8).
It is known that the pig and the camel allude to Christianity and to Islam. Each of
these religions boasts that its sources are within Judaism, and each uses the Bible and other
Jewish sources to justify its existence. While Christianity spreads out its hooves like the pig,
to show how kosher it is, it remains nonkosher on the inside, because it envisions G-d as
being a man and claims that G-d abandoned Israel and forged a new covenant, Heaven
Likewise, with Islam, it is true that in their world-view they oppose envisioning G-d as
a man, and they claim that they believe in one G-d. Seemingly, they are kosher on the inside,
yet when they raise up the sword against Israel and against other nations, their true face is
revealed, that of “his hand being against everyone and everyone’s hand being against him”
Right now, Christianity and Islam share a common concern -- how to deal with the
rebirth of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael and its eternal capital Jerusalem, something
which undermines the foundations of their world-view and faith. They are trying by various
means, some ostensibly good and peace-like, and others openly wicked and bellicose, to
nullify the counsel of G-d. Yet G-d, who loves His people and thinks only good of them, is
raising them up to rebirth.
It was in response to such plotting that King David, sweet singer of Israel, said, “Why
are the nations in uproar? Why do the peoples mutter in vain? The kings of the earth join
ranks and the rulers take counsel together, against the L-rd and against His anointed”
Yet, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the L-rd holds them in derision. He shall
speak to them in His wrath and terrify them in His burning anger” (Ibid., v. 4-5).
The Jewish People are G-d’s firstborn son, and they are forever as dear to Him as an
infant is to its parents on the day of its birth (see Metzudot David, Ibid.).
Looking forward to complete salvation,