Is there spiritual meaning behind Kosher?

What do the Rabbis, Torah, Talmud and so on say about this question?

(I know many say that we don't know. This is a question for those who have a spiritual answer)

  • related (duplicate?) judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/34841/why-keep-kashrut
    – mbloch
    Feb 10, 2016 at 7:54
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16041
    – msh210
    Feb 10, 2016 at 13:53
  • 3
    Yes. By definition, there is a spiritual meaning behind all divine commands. By obeying Hashem, we are engaging in and improving that relationship. Since spirituality is directly tied to closeness to Hashem, coming "closer" is a spiritual act. Is there another purpose to kosher other than "OBEY?" Almost certainly. Is it cognizable to a human? Maybe. Does it matter vis a vis our obligation to obey? No. Feb 10, 2016 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


We observe kashrut because it is a God-given commandment, a chok. Nevertheless there have been many reasons given. Some of them are rational (e.g., hygiene), others are more spiritual. Here are a few adapted and extended from aish's treatment of the topic that suggest eating kosher trains us spiritually to adopt the right behaviors

  • We are taught to be sensitive to others' feelings, even to the feelings of animals. A mother and her young are forbidden to be slaughtered on the same day, and of course "don't boil a kid (goat) in its mother's milk."

  • The Torah prohibits cruelty to animals. We must not remove the limb of an animal while it is still alive (a common practice, prior to refrigeration). When we slaughter an animal, it must be done with the least possible pain; there is a special knife that is so sharp that even the slightest nick in the blade renders it impermissible. This prevents pain to the animal and, all the more, trains us not to be cruel with fellow humans

  • We are reminded not to be vicious, by the prohibition to eat vicious birds of prey.

  • The Torah calls the Jews a "holy people" and prescribes a holy diet (Dvarim 14:2-4). You are what you eat. We only eat domesticated animals so that we have good character traits from the food. Eating wild animals would give us wild character traits.

  • Kosher is God's diet for spirituality. Jewish mysticism teaches that non-kosher food blocks the spiritual potential of the soul.

  • R Hayim Halevy Donin in To Be a Jew suggests that the dietary laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat (e.g., waiting between meat and milk) ingrains that kind of self control, requiring us to learn to control even our most basic, primal instincts

See also the end of here and for more discussion here.

  • 1
    Looks like Kosher teach us something about life,thank you for your answer
    – Aigle
    Feb 10, 2016 at 8:06
  • Great. I'd add that even those who look at the origin of our mitzvos in a strictly historical sense admit that the laws of kashrus were some sort of backlash against idol worship, specifically the practice among certain pagans of cooking a calf in its mother's milk. The Jewish view seems to be "we just don't do [what they do (for their idols, for our G-d)]"
    – SAH
    Mar 17, 2017 at 2:22

Yes, all mitzvos have spiritual meaning and Kosher is no exception. Every law related to kashrut is based upon spirituality. The Ramchal in Mesillas Yesharim, chapter 11 explains that all forms of non-kosher foods can distance a person from God. The basic idea is you are what you eat, hence impure foods imbibe a person with impurity

והנה מי שיש לו מוח בקדקדו, יחשוב איסורי המאכל כמאכלים הארסיים או כמאכל שנתערב בו איזה דבר ארסי. כי הנה אם דבר זה יארע, היקל אדם על עצמו לאכול ממנו אם ישאר לו בו איזה בית מיחוש, ואפילו חששא קטנה? ודאי שלא יקל. ואם יקל, לא יהיה נחשב אלא לשוטה גמור אף איסור המאכל כבר בארנו, שהוא ארס ממש ללב ולנפש. אם כן מי איפוא יהיה המיקל במקום חששא של איסור אם בעל שכל הוא. ועל דבר זה נאמר (משלי כג, ב) ושמת סכין בלועיך אם בעל נפש אתה. ‏

  • 1
    Hello Sk678 and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Thanks for this answer! I hope you'll look around and find other Q&A of interest and stay learning with us.
    – mbloch
    Feb 10, 2016 at 7:56

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