Rabbi Yosi opened [his discourse] with the verse: "All the labor of man is for his mouth." (Eccl. 6:7) [Rashi: so that he can gather enough money to enable him to eat.] I have looked deeply into the words of King Solomon and they are in perfect harmony with spiritual wisdom. The words, "the labor of man is for his mouth," refer to the time in the spiritual world [after death] when man is judged. It is written that all the judgments and all the suffering that occur in that world and the accusations made are revenge for all that came out of his mouth in the physical world. The revenge is exacted upon him because he failed to properly control "his mouth". Through it, he defiled his soul by not cleaving to the right [Holy] side of life.

"Yet the soul is not fulfilled," meaning that he ate forbidden foods
[profaning his body and soul] causing the judgment of his soul to never be completed. Another aspect of the words, "is not fulfilled," is that it will never be completed or fully rectified to enable it to ascend to its place, since it is defiled and connected to the Other Side.

Rabbi Yitzchak said that all who are defiled [by eating forbidden foods], it is as if he who is defiled by them served idols, which is called "an abomination to G‑d," (Deut. 17:1) and it is written: "You shall not eat any abominable thing." (Deut. 14:3) He who serves idols leaves the living world [the pure spiritual world of Atzilut] and leaves the domain of the Holy [in the worlds of Beriya and Yetzira] and enters into another domain. Likewise, the one who is defiled by these unclean foods leaves the side of life and departs from the domain of holiness and enters another domain [governed by impure forces]. Moreover, he is all the more defiled in this world and in the World to Come. Therefore, "neither shall you make yourselves unclean by them," and the word "unclean" [in Hebrew, 'venitantem'] is written without the letter Alef [for the Alufo/Chief of the World does not dwell inside him] .

It is written [about prohibited food]: "And you shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by bird, or by any manner of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean." (Lev. 20:25) What does He mean by "unclean"? It means defiled, for they are unclean and come from the side of uncleanness. Each cleaves to his own place [and when Israel does teshuvah and stops eating unclean food in the physical world, then Israel's soul is purified and elevates to the place where Holiness dwells in the spiritual realm].

Rabbi Elazar was once sitting before his father Rabbi Shimon, and he said to him: We have learned that the G‑d will one day purify Israel. With what? He replied: With that which is written in the verse: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean" (Ezekiel 36:25) [through the waters of kindness of Imma]. Since they are purified [through Imma] they are also sanctified [from Abba]. Israel who cleave to G‑d are called 'holy', as is written: "Israel is holy to G‑d, the first fruit of His increase," (Jeremiah 23:3) and also, "And you shall be Holy men to Me." (Ex. 22:30) Fortunate are Israel, of whom G‑d says: "And you shall be Holy for I am Holy" (Lev. 11:44). For it is written, "And hold fast to Him," (Deut. 13:5) and also, "He has not dealt so with any other nation and as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Haleluyah!" (Psalms 147:20) [Those whose souls are in the realm of the kelipot did not merit to receive the Torah, for there was no Holiness in them to receive it].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed now.

More on kosher eating. Can one live a Holy life and still eat bacon? What if one feels that this is something that one craves and just can't surrender? The Holy Zohar indicates that until one does teshuva, unfortunately, one's flow of Holiness from above is blocked. We may know many good-hearted Jews who eat bacon, shellfish, cheeseburgers, etc. But Listen to your inner voice. For those to whom these foods are still on their personal menus, here is a question: are you ready to even try to see if the above pertains to you? Worth contemplating.

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.