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Is it kosher to wear a pig-skin coat?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Daily Life » Clothing » "Jewish" Clothing | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The laws of Kosher apply only to eating. There is no problem with wearing (or using) an item which comes from any non-Kosher animal.

The only non-kosher items from which we are forbidden to derive any benefit are:

1) A mixture of milk and meat.

2) Chametz on Passover.

3) Grains or other seeds which were planted in a vineyard.


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Pigskin coat

Posted by: Anonymous on May 27, 2006

But I thought that you weren't supposed to touch the carcass of a dead pig... or is the hide not considered part of the carcass? Sorry if this sounds dumb...

Editor's Comment

1. There is no such prohibition. 2. AskMoses policy: No such thing as a dumb question...

Is it kosher to wear a pig-skin coat?

Posted by: Charles Summers, Toledo, Ohio on Oct 22, 2006

I feel that the Editor's Comment of May 27, 2006 is contrary to the Scripture. Specifically Leviticus 11:8, which specifically states, "their carcasses ye shall not touch". To state absolutely (and with finality) that there is 'no such prohibition' leaves me to question how the Editor can resolve the above scripture.

Editor's Comment

This is precisely why it is so imperative to study the Oral Law together with the Written Torah -- otherwise, one can very often reach erroneous conclusions. The following is Rashi's commentary on Leviticus 11:8 (taken from the Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 16b): One might think that Israelites are prohibited to touch a carcass. Scripture, however, says, "Say to the kohanim [(a kohen) shall not defile himself for a (dead) person among his people]" (Leviticus 21:1); thus, kohanim are prohibited [from defiling themselves by human corpses], but ordinary Israelites are not prohibited. Now a "kal vachomer" [a deduction reached by comparing a more stringent case to a lesser one] can be made: Since in the more stringent case of defilement by a human corpse, only kohanim are prohibited, then in the more lenient case of defilement by animal carcasses, how much more so [should only kohanim be prohibited! If so,] what does Scripture mean by, "you shall not touch their carcasses"? [It means that Israelites may not touch animal carcasses] on the Festivals [since at those times they deal with holy sacrifices and enter the Temple]. This is what [the Sages] said: A person is obligated to cleanse himself on Festivals.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Kosher » Kosher Creatures

Chametz
Any leavened product which is produced from wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. This includes bread, cake, cereals, crackers, biscuits, yeast, pasta and whisky. It is forbidden for a Jew to possess or consume Chametz throughout Passover.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.