Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Don't Cook a Kid

by Gutman Locks

    The Torah prohibits cooking a kid in its mother’s milk. From this prohibition come all of the dietary laws regarding the separation of milk and meat. One suggested reason for this law is that ancient idol worshipers would do this as a charm for material success. According to this opinion, this is why the Torah places this prohibition immediately after the mitzvah of brining our “land’s early produce to the Temple of Hashem”. Unlike the idolater, we know that bringing our first fruits to the Temple brings a blessing for our crops.
     But there is a stronger, more pressing reason why the law of not cooking a kid in its mother’s milk immediately follows the mitzvah of bringing our first fruits to the Temple. Cooking a kid in its mother’s milk is actually a comment on bringing the first fruits.
     A mother’s milk comes to sustain her children, not to destroy them by cooking them in it! It is a kindness. It is incongruous, even heartless to use that milk to boil its kid.
     So too is the first produce of our land a kindness, a gift from our “Parent,” given to sustain us. The Torah tells us to bring our first produce to the Temple, and then warns … don’t cook a kid in its mother’s milk.
     Although there will always be more, and deeper reasons for any mitzvah, here we being warned that not taking our first fruits to the Temple to share with the Kohenim (priests) would be as callous as cooking a kid in its mother’s milk.


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