We have learned, by what deeds were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah merit to be saved from their tests? [Daniel was thrown into the pit of lions and the others were thrown into a fiery oven.] It is because they did not allow themselves to become unclean due to the foods they consumed. [They were careful to eat only fruits and legumes while in the palace.] Rabbi Yehuda said it is written "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food...[prepared for him]" (Daniel 1:8) And we learned from the secret of Mishna that the food of that wicked one [Nebuchadnezzar] was meat cooked in milk, cheese with meat, [that were also prepared for Daniel and the other exiles] in addition to other foods. This menu was served up daily [deliberately to cause his table to represent the table of the minister of impurity in the spiritual realms].

Daniel, who guarded himself from it, when he was thrown into the pit of lions; he was perfect in the [holy] image of his Master, and his image did not alter to any other [impure] image, and so the lions feared him and did not harm him. But that tyrant, when the kingdom was removed from him, and his dwelling was "with the beasts in the field", (Daniel 4:20) the image of his face was removed. From that day, his [Nebuchadnezzar's] image did not resemble that of a human, and any animal that approached him, thought it was its own kind, and a female, and so all came in to him. Many times, the beasts of the field would have attacked him were it not for the penalty decreed for him, as it is written: "And they shall scoff at kings and make sport of princes". (Habakuk 1:10) [He would humiliate captive kings and princes by sodomizing them] As a result, [the punishment fitted the crime and] all [the animals] denigrated him all that time [of his punishment].

Come and see, what is written: "And at the end of ten days [of eating seeds and drinking water instead of the King’s portions prepared for them] they appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the youths who did eat the portion of the king's fare." (Daniel 1:15) They [Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah] appeared fairer, in that the image of their Master [the Tzelem Elokim] was not removed from them, but was removed from the others. What caused this? Their not nauseating themselves with with that revolting food. Praise the lot of children of Israel where it is written: "And you shall be men of holiness to Me."

BeRahamim LeHayyim: The Holy Zohar continues its lecture on eating kosher according to the Torah and the Sages. Yesterday we heard of the problems; today we learn of the benefits. Miracles were performed for those who followed the Will of G‑d. They were saved from harm, and although they were complete vegetarians, they looked better than others who partook in the non-kosher food.

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.