In this week’s Sedra the Torah instructs regarding Shechitas Chulin (ritual slaughter of animals for regular consumption). The Torah likewise provides the laws concerning all sorts of Mitzvos related to shechita. The Torah tells us that when we shecht an animal because we wish to eat meat we are to treat it as we would כצבי וכאיל – like gazelle and deer meat.
Rashi, bothered by why the Torah compares בשר תאווה (meat for consumption) to deer meat, explains that the Torah is simply telling us that just like deer meat isn’t sacred because it cannot be brought as a sacrifice, so too תאווה בשר is not holy.
Rashi explained the comparison to deer meat, but we are still left with a question: why would we assume that בשר תאווה should be considered sacred? If the Torah tells us we can shecht meat simply because we want to eat it, why should one imagine that the meat should be holy?
The Torah doesn’t simply tell us we can eat meat. The Torah commands that we must slaughter the meat in the same manner we shecht a Korbon. The Torah directs us not to eat the blood of the animal and tells us that we first must kasher the animal. In short the Torah attaches many Mitzvos and halachos as prerequisites to the consumption of בשר תאווה. Once the Torah turned eating meat into a bundle of Mitzvos, one might assume that the product of such a construct would indeed be holy.
In essence the Torah is telling us that not every mitzvah turns things into something sacred. At the same time the Torah is teaching us that even mundane elements of life are uplifted and sanctified by Mitzvos Hashem.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski