"Since you are a holy nation to G‑d your L-rd, you may not eat any [mammal or bird] that has not been properly slaughtered." (Deut. 14:21—Aryeh Kaplan translation)

"Rabbi Abba said: I have remembered a certain matter I heard from the Holy Lamp who heard it in the name of Rabbi Eliezer. One day a clever gentile came and said to him:

But you are perpetually in pain, trouble and agony...

"Old man, old man… you say that you are closer to the Divine King than all other peoples. Whoever is close to the King is forever rejoicing, without pain, without fear, without troubles. But you are perpetually in pain, trouble and agony, more than anyone else. Look at us —- no pain, trouble nor agony approaches us at all, from whence it follows that we are close to the Divine King and you are far from Him, and this is why you have pain and trouble and sorrow and agony, which we do not have.

"Further: You do not eat of an animal found dead nor one not ritually slaughtered so that you will be healthy and your body healthy. We eat anything we want and we are physically strong and healthy and all our limbs are fit. You do not eat and all are sick with bad illnesses and broken more than all other peoples. You are a people whom the Al-mighty hates above all. Old man, old man, do not say anything to me because I shall not listen to you, nor accept it from you."

Rabbi Eliezer lifted up his eyes, looked at him, and turned him into a heap of bones….When his anger had subsided, he looked back, cried, and said: "G‑d, our Master, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:2). How strong is the power of the Holy and Mighty Name in all the earth, and how beloved are words of Torah, for nothing is so minor that it will not be found in Torah, and even the smallest thing in Torah issued from the mouth of the blessed Holy One. Those matters that that wicked one asked, I too, once asked of Elijah, and he replied that in the academy of Heaven [these very matters] were laid out before the blessed Holy One, as follows…

...the heart has none of them, for it is clean and clear... "Israel does not partake of animals found dead or those not ritually slaughtered, nor of filth and dirt of reptiles and insects as do other peoples, [but are nevertheless weaker than they are]. This is so. For the heart, which is soft and weak and is the king and the sustenance of the other limbs, does not take for its nourishment other than from the clearest and purest of all the blood, and its food is clean and clear and is softer and weaker than all the rest. And it leaves the remaining waste matter for the other limbs, and the other limbs are not concerned, but take all that waste, even the worst, and they are strong as befits them. This is why all the other limbs have skin eruptions and scabs, bright spots and leprous boils, and the heart has none of them, for it is clean and clear, and has no blemish whatsoever.

"Thus the blessed Holy One, took Israel, who is clean, clear, and without blemish, for Himself, as it says: You are entirely beautiful, my love, and there is no flaw in you." [Song of Songs 4:7]

Rabbi Yose came, kissed his hands, and said: "If I had come into the world just to hear this, it would have been sufficient."

[From Zohar, Pinchas (Submitted by JesseBarksdale).]