Parsha Mitzvot: Shemini: Mitzvah 149 – Concept 176
“Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: These are the creatures that you may eat from among all the animals that are upon the earth (Vayikra 11:2).” We are commanded to examine the signs of animals to distinguish between the kosher and non-kosher (Rambam, Hilchot Ma’achalot Assurot – The Laws of Forbidden Foods).
The service of a being with a Higher Soul begins by learning to distinguish between that which is good for his soul, and that which is harmful. This begins at the most basic physical level; food. (Ihr Miklat)
We can fulfill this Mitzvah each time we walk into a store to purchase Kosher food, with the intention to fulfill the Mitzvah, and with a conscious prayer that through this effort, we acquire heightened sensitivity in everything we do, say, and think, to what is beneficial and what is harmful.