Many of us have ‘issues’ with killing animals for food or for spiritual process like Kaparot.
Killing animals or any living creature is totally wrong BUT before you jump into conclusions let us define some related words for ‘killing’.
What is killing?
Killing is an action or process that takes out the life force from a living creature and leave it motionless (not exactly).
What is life force?
Life force is the energy that vibrates inside of a living creature and keeps the body in motion and ability to act in this world. We can call it the soul.
What is death?
Death occurs when the blood stops circulating in the body.
What is soul?
The soul is the intelligent life force that is planted in the flesh. This process is called incarnation (in-carnage). The soul uses the body as a tool to move through its life span and develop itself.
To simplify this example of body and soul consider a PC and its operating system (OS). The hardware, body, maybe the same but the software, soul/OS, is different. The soul in the body learns and grows within its limit of body and intelligence.
The soul has the duty to grow and ‘network’ with other units to branch out and extend itself as far as it can get.
It should connect and share its intelligence and resources to strengthen the whole network. (ie Internet)
The soul/energy can never die just like the software is an intellectual property that can be transferred from one hardware to another.
The question asked is to what happens when the soul ‘departs’ from the body when it is dead?
Science tells us that energy is never lost but transforms itself from one state to another. Science will soon discover that the soul energy keeps its identity after departing from the body. The transformation process for it depends on what it achieved while in the body.
In principal, souls of all living things go through similar process.
When we kill a living creature we disrupt the life process it needs to go through and this is wrong.
The animals that the Torah allows us to eat have souls that need to be transformed to an elevated state through a spiritual process.
When the animal gets to the point to be slaughtered it doesn’t object the process (comparing to wild animals).
Now we understand that we may kill/transform the flesh into energy but not the soul as it can never die.
Spiritual process is not killing but transforming matter in to spiritual.
The animal suffers no pain in the process of ‘kosher’ slaughtering. The best way to describe it is as releasing a person from prison. When he is outside the prison gate he feels the freedom. Now he can choose new ways for himself. He is no longer confined to a limited space and movements.
How many times we wish to be someone else. If someone will tell you that you can live to 200 years most of you would say “No Thanks…I’ve done my time in this life and had enough suffering for 80 years…Please check me out of this plan…and get me another life”
The existence of this kind of thought proves that we, our souls, are confined into a temporary body.
The sacrifices in the Holy Temple
When we read the Torah about the work of the high priest in the holy temple we see a lot of weird actions done during the slaughtering and when separating the animal parts. The Torah gives specific instructions on who exactly will eat each part of the animal.
We usually ignore and skips these Torah parts, excuse them as old and invalid acts and not for our times but soon you will learn the great importance of the sacrifices in the Holy Temple.
When the soul leaves the animal’s body it needs to enter the spiritual dimension and this is our opportunity to connect to the upper levels through this bridge. We can then remove judgments from ourselves.
What happens when we kill the animal following a proper spiritual process?
The process starts by using a very sharp knife with a straight blade without breaks or wavy edge. It’s supposed to make one clean cut to the throat of the animal and disconnect the main blood vessel to the head. This separates the energy of the body’s 7 lower Sefirot from the head, which is the upper 3 Sefirot.
Death comes in few seconds. Cutting the blood vessel on the throat under the head is a must. We can simply stop the heart in many quick methods but it doesn’t make a spiritual connection or elevate the soul of the animal. The animal’s soul suffers greatly in all other methods.
Before the knife touches the throat of the animal, it knows what is about to happen. As the blood drains out quickly, the soul leaves the body. It is important for the soul and for the process of incarnation. Every soul goes through four types of death. Fire, Sword, Stoning and Chocking. Each type is for each letter of the YHVH.
The process of slaughtering is called שחיטה, which is שחט and יה. This reveals to us that the slaughtering is a connection to יה. The person that does the act is called שוחט, which is שחט and ו to tell us that he is the channel for this act. The letters that are left after separating the act of slaughteringשחט are יהו the upper letters of the name.
The process releases and frees the soul from the bondage of the limiting body. It may not sound correct to people that connect only to physicality but the soul that goes through a proper process of slaughtering is ‘Lucky’. Like we feel happy for a person who dies in his sleep and call it ‘death by a kiss’ so we should for the slaughtered animal.
This part copied from my commentary of Daily Zohar #347 and it relates to this issue.
Tikkun 21 – 88
Songs 8:7 “ מַיִם רַבִּים, לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת אֶת-הָאַהֲבָה, וּנְהָרוֹת, לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּהָ”
”Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it”
Leviticus 17:13 “ וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמִן-הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם, אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ-עוֹף, אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל–וְשָׁפַךְ, אֶת-דָּמוֹ, וְכִסָּהוּ, בֶּעָפָר”
“Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.”
The Torah instructs that when we take the life of an animal for the purpose of eating, we should cover its blood with earth. The souls in the pure animals are souls in the process of correction and should require special attention from us to help them.
Blood is דם, numerical value 44 and earth, עָפָר is 350. Together with the Kolel (adding 1 for the whole) it is equal to נשמה, which means soul.
The Zohar explains that the “Many Waters” refer to the water of the Flood and even though they brought death, they can’t disconnect the connection of our souls to the Creator.
The Shechina covers and protects us with love under her wings and bring the light of Mercy, Chassadim, to us.
When we cover the blood of the animal we act like the Shechina and bring mercy and Chassadim to the animal’s soul. This helps ascend to the next level in its correction process.
The sages tell us that if a soul of a person sees the Schechina after departing from the body, then it can’t go back to life.
The Shechina keeps the life force vibrated in our bodies, like the lungs sustain the heart.
The night before Yom Kippur is when we do Kaparot, which is transforming our negativity to a chicken that we circle around our head. It’s wing symbolizes the protection of the Shechina and the soul of the chicken accepts the process knowing that it will elevate her higher. We should look at the blood at the time of the actual slaughter with a consciousness that this will take the judgment from our life and bring us to Yom Kippur with mercy. Immediately after the blood drips down to the ground we should take from the dust of the earth and cover the blood with a special blessing to bring mercy to the soul that helped us become cleansed.
Some slaughterhouses that host the Kaparot process use saw dust. It may be good for covering and absorbing the blood but not for proper connection of bringing mercy to the soul as it should be.