Readers of mail-jewish may not be familiar with the works of my teacher, HaRav Noach Albert ("Al") Kohol, the Schlitzer Rebbe Sh'ti"ya [may he drink long and hard, not get a hangover, and always have a designated driver available]. He takes the strictest approach to the Law, and his kashrus certification is one of the most reliable in the business. Rabbi Kohol is a very pious and revered sage, who normally does not leave his yeshiva, but once a year at Purim, he gives a public shiur. The following is a transcript of his shiur from last year:

All Food Is Treif

Davar Purim-torah 5753
by HaRav Hagadol Noach Kohol, the Schlitzer Rebbe, Sh'ti"ya

Many of you want to know whether the study of secular knowledge is worthwhile, I have spent the last year studying secular sciences with some of the most famous scientists in the world. Chemists, physicists, biologists, geologists, computer scientists, economists... I have learned from them, and I have found that their knowledge is _crucial_ to the understanding of Torah, and thus I am going to require that every talmid in my yeshiva obtain a PhD in particle physics in addition to learning Torah.

"So," you may ask, "what did you find out from these scientists, these 'lab rats,' these secular people, that was _so_ important?" This is what I found:


How can I say that all food is treif? Don't we have a complex system in place to assure that meat is slaughtered correctly, that forbidden ingredients are not present in our food? Don't we have well-trained and pious shochetim and mashgichim? Don't our wives toil hard night and day to uphold the kashrus of the kitchens in our homes? Yes, Yes, YES! But Science teaches us that it's all to no avail. Our food is treif before it even becomes food.

Consider that piece of so-called "glatt kosher" meat that you just bought from a supposedly reliable butcher. Yes, the shochet did his job. Yes, the butcher kashered it properly. But think! What are the _ingredients_ of that piece of meat? What is the meat made of?

I'll tell you what the scientists told me. That meat is made of CHONS. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Sulfur The scientists also told me that CHONS is constantly being recycled and redistributed around the world. Your very bodies may be made up of pieces of CHONS that were once part of Mordechai...or part of Haman (may his name be blotted out). That piece of "glatt kosher" meat is made up of CHONS that was probably part of a PIG...or of a dinosaur! And what's true for a piece of meat is also true for a cupcake or a carrot. All food in the world is made up of CHONS, and CHONS is TREIF!!!!!!!

What are we to do? First, if all food is treif, and we cannot eat treif food, Torah-true Jews have a bit of a problem. But because we are to live by the laws of the Torah and not starve to death by them, I will invoke the principle of Pikuach Nefesh, and allow you all to eat treif food for the time being. I have composed a short meditation that I recommend saying before one eats treif food, so that we all realize that we are eating treif food so that we can live to observe the Torah. We are not like the assimilated Jews, who eat treif food because it tastes good!!!

But this heter to eat treif food is only a short-term solution, and that is the reason why I want my talmidim to study Science. We must immediately begin research into the very secrets of matter itself, so that we may be able to create CHONS that has never before existed in the Universe. Once we do that, we can finally create truly kosher food. The task will be difficult. Not only is food made up of CHONS, but CHONS is made up of protons, neutrons, electrons, neutrinos, quarks, maybe even Higgs bosons! Our research must be thorough and careful to ensure that what we create must never have existed anywhere before. That is our challenge. Every Jew must become a scientist, and every yeshiva bochur must become a particle physicist. Chag Purim sameach."

That particular shiur ended with dinner catered by Joe's Chesapeake Crab House and Ma's Dixie Hog Bar-B-Q Pit. So far, Rabbi Kohol's heter still stands. (at least for followers of the Schlitzer Rebbe.)

I can't wait to hear Rav Kohol's shiur this year. I hear he's been studying with secular experts on human sexuality.

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