Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Menachem the Shochet

This unlikely 103-word story is about a vegetarian shochet, the ritual slaughterer. There’s a taste of ironic humor in this short piece. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

Menachem the Shochet

Menachem the Shochet wasn’t born to kill cows, wasn’t born to slaughter sheep, wasn’t born to butcher chickens. Menachem eats no meat. He can’t understand the value of taking a life for something so mundane as a meal, something so common as food, something so inconsequential as a morsel. He prepares the knife with care, praying for forgiveness on earth and in heaven. No one’s blade in sharper, no one’s stroke smoother, no one’s cut cleaner and he cries as if he has sacrificed his only child. Menachem the Shochet wasn’t born for the slaughterhouse, which is why all his meat is Kosher.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My daughter Dana has been a vegetarian for 17 years. This story is in honor of her journey. Here are a few more of my favorite stories: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Obediah.”

If you like this story, post a link to your Facebook page, to your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. For reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

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