Shemini – The Return of the Kosher Pig

Pig represents the epitome of impurity as it is the only animal that has split hooves but does not chew its cud.

Splitting hooves are an external sign and chewing the cud is an internal sign, so what the pig has come to symbolize are those that are pure on the outside, but filthy within their heart, which is the concept of mixture of good and evil, the state of being we are in after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

This comes to teach us that at the deeper level, pig symbolizes the duality of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in that the evil is intermingled with the good, resulting in a world of opposites as we know it.

The tree of life in this context symbolizes the singularity of God known as the Ein Sof, that through the channels of the Sefirot the divine light descends and manifests through the four levels of the worlds as represented by the four letters of YHVH.

The ratio of 1:4 is evident in the story of the garden, i.e. the river parted into four heads (Gen 2:10), and 4 times good tov טוֹב (the primordial light) is 68, which is the gematria of life chaim חַיִּים. When 68 is further multiplied by 4, the result is 272, exactly the gematria of “with evil” בְּרָע, when the three letters are permuted, it becomes mixture, עֶרֶב erev, i.e. the mixture of good and evil.

Similarly, the gematria of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is exactly four times that of the tree of life, as follows:

Tree of life עֵץ הַחַיִּים 233
Tree of knowledge of good and evil עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע 932

 

This comes to shed light on the symbolism of the pig, one of the four animals explicitly mentioned in the Torah as impure and the only animal that has split hooves but does not chew its cud, again the ratio 1:4, except being on the opposite side as the source of evil.

In the context of “good” being the source of “life” as above, it follows that pig represents the ultimate “evil” as the cause of “death” at the spiritual level by what pig comes to symbolize, i.e. the mixture of pure (split hooves) and impure (not chewing cud).

Astonishingly, the gematria of pure and impure is exactly the same gematria of evil which is 270:

Pure, impure טָהוֹר טָמֵא 270
Evil רָע 270

 

What does the symbol of pig come to teach us?

Pork is probably the most popular meat around the world and has been ingrained into the human consciousness as food and as such entangled the soul of man into a mixture of good and evil. Pork is reportedly to have the same taste as human flesh, and pig is widely used in medical research due to its similarity in physiological property with the human flesh. It may be surmised that pig as the epitome of impurity represents the fallen state of mankind in need of redemption.

According to some rabbinical teachings that the pig will eventually chew its cud in the Messianic age, for the Hebrew word for pig is chazir חֲזִיר which is interpreted by the rabbis as heichzirהֶחְזִיר, meaning return, i.e. the return of the pig as kosher with the restoration of the tree of life from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

As it is written in Job 19:26-27:

וְאַחַר עוֹרִי, נִקְּפוּ-זֹאת;וּמִבְּשָׂרִי, אֶחֱזֶה אֱלוֹהַּ. אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי, אֶחֱזֶה-לִּי–וְעֵינַי רָאוּ וְלֹא-זָר: כָּלוּ כִלְיֹתַי בְּחֵקִי. And when after my skin this is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God; Whom I, even I, shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another’s. My reins are consumed within me. (Job 19:26-27)

 

“Flesh” denotes physicality, without my flesh shall I see God means to see God by overcoming my physicality. If we focus on the central theme of the following Hebrew phrase:

אֶחֱזֶה אֱלוֹהַּ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי, אֶחֱזֶה I will see God that I am I will see

 

Astonishingly, the initial letters of the five words are all Alef, alluding to man being created in the image of God as his highest potentialities (five levels of soul). The final letters (ה ה ר י ה) of the five words in gematria is 225, exactly the gematria of pig חֲזִיר, symbolizing the other end of potential where man can fall, by his free will, as drawn by the desire of his animal soul, to the level of the pig symbolizing the lowest of the low.

The average number of the five letters is 45, again the gematria of man אָדָם, and indeed, there is a fight between the divine soul and the animal soul, as epitomized by man and pig.

This polar opposite of potential is exactly the secret of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and when man descends to the level of pig, their gematria is 270, which is exactly the gematria of evil רָע.

Man, pig אָדָם חֲזִיר 270
Evil רָע 270

 

The first man was given the free will to choose between tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil, but the woman was tempted:

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…” (Gen 3:6)

The three temptations in gematria is 932, exactly the gematria of the tree of knowledge of good and evil עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע:

Good טוֹב 17
Pleasant תַאֲוָה 412
To be desired, make one wise וְנֶחְמָד לְהַשְׂכִּיל 503
  932

 

Pork is known for its good, pleasant taste and is desired by most of the people around the world, reminiscent of the consciousness of mankind after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The essence of meat of pig in gematria is exactly the same as the tree of knowledge of good and evil:

Tree of knowledge of good and evil עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע 932
Essence of the meat of pig עֶצֶם בְּשַׂר הַחֲזִיר 932

 

In the same way that the commandment was given to Adam in the garden to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but subsequently they were given the free will to eat, so was the commandment given to not eat pork, but it was up to those who believe to choose not to eat.

If we are to take the same phrase from Torah “you shall not eat” and substitute pig twice for the duality of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the gematria is exactly the same as the tree of knowledge of good and evil:

Tree of knowledge of good and evil עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע 932
Pig, pig, you shall not eat חֲזִיר חֲזִיר לֹא תֹאכַל 932
You shall return the pig תָּשָׁב הַחֲזִיר 932

 

And indeed the pig will eventually return chewing the cud, in the same way that man will eventually return to the garden, when the tree of knowledge is transformed and restored back to the tree of life, but the action is with man, i.e. you shall return the pig, the gematria is also 932, that is, your pig within, you who intermingle good with evil, and pure with impure, you shall return it from its duality to its singularity.

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