A National Public Radio piece here recounts a controversy over a Jewish ritual that for some reason requires the slaughter of thousands of chickens as atonement for sins. It’s easy for the non-Jew to shake his head at such apparently barbaric acts–until we remember how many chickens give up their wings and their lives on a typical NFL Sunday and dozens of other occasions devoted to little more than mindless enjoyment and referee-cursing.
One rabbi who disagrees with the slaughter gets right to the point. Meat is more than just taste, though its taste can be great. It’s also tradition, family, community, memory:
“It is a kind of double world for me because I love all these people I’m with and I’m part of their world,” he says. “I wear a yarmulke; I’m with them; they’re wonderful people. But I disagree with them on this point.”
That’s the point I’ve been struggling with in numerous blog posts about my two-year effort to kick meat, as witness here. More on this front to come soon.