Thursday, August 25, 2011

Re'eh – Intentions for Kosher Slaughter

Previously we learned about kosher slaughter as a step in the soul's reincarnation from the animal to a man. However, there are also more specific intentions that a slaughterer must have in his mind at the moment of slaughter.

When he cuts, he must think that the place of slaughter is the neck, garon (גרון) the gematria of which is 259. This is equal to three time the name of God Elohim (אלהים), the gematria of which (plus the whole) is 86 * 3 + 1 = 259. These are the three aspects of consciousness of the Cosmic Man, Zeir Anpin, which he possesses in his youth. They are called “youthful, or childish consciousness,” and they need to be replaced by mature, or wise consciousness. They are found in the neck of Zeir Anpin, because this is what connects his body – behavior – to his brain – mind.

The slaughterer should also think that the “childish consciousness” often results in the wrong behavior, and thus represents the judgments found in the world. He should bring down the wise consciousness, also in three aspects, thus sweetening and correcting the judgements found in the neck of Zeir Anpin, represented by the neck of the animal. The result of this is the combination of the name of God Adonai (יהוה) and Elohim (אלהים) three times, which (together with 1 for the whole) have the gematria of (86 + 26) *3 + 1 = 337, the same as the gematria of “kosher slaughter”, or “shechitah” (

It is well known that the name of God Adonai represents Mercy, whereas the name Elohim represents judgment. By combining the two, the slaughterer achieves sweetening of the judgments found in the world, thus effecting cosmic changes through his actions.

Art: Sir Anthony Van Dyck - Youthful Self-Portrait

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