By a ChabadInfo.com reader
For the majority of my life, I was under the assumption, and so were my doctors, that I was lactose intolerant. I had all the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. Any time I would consume more than a mere trace of dairy, I would get horrible stomach pains. I also did not grow up frum and never knew anything about kosher. I only learned about Cholov Yisroel about two years ago. Being that I was ‘lactose intolerant,” I never tried a Cholov Yisroel product when I started to follow a more strictly kosher lifestyle.
Last year, a casual friend really want me to try some ice cream, and I really didn’t want to. But, after some pleading, I gave it a try. I spent the next few hours waiting for the stomach pains to start. They never came. I had asked about this ice cream and I found that it was Cholov Yisroel.
Intriguing. I decided to do an experiment. I drank exactly 11 ounces of regular 2% milk, I got all the pains that I expected. I waited a couple days, to be sure it was out of my system, and drank 11 ounces of Cholov Yisroel 2% milk… no symptoms! I have kept Cholov Yisroel ever since, and I have enjoyed cereals for the first in my life. I even consider Frosted Flakes a special Shabbos morning treat because it’s a new food and thus very exciting.
Everything was created by Hashem. By default, everything contains holiness. Yet holiness is more revealed in certain entities more than others. Being created in Hashem’s image, we have a moral duty to elevate that which is lower than us – and, as Chassidus explains at length, by doing so we bring about an aliyah also for ourselves!
Every time we do something, we are either elevating or declining our spiritual level. If we are doing something that is much less holy that we, we can very well elevate whatever it is we are doing (such as when we elevate the foods we eat), but how often do we wonder if it is lowering us? Kashrus is a complicated thing, but one of its many uses is that it helps us to not decline our spiritual level via the foods we consume. If we consume something that is very far below our level, it does cause us to drop a bit. The same goes for elevation. If we consume something that is kosher, it is holier than treif food. Because we took the time, effort and extra money to perform that mitzvah (an many others, as Jews do work in those fields and by purchasing kosher foods, you are providing their income) we are elevated in that deed. So by keeping kosher, strictly kosher, great, miraculous things can happen as we merit them.
A friend of mine was suffering from a sever medical problem in which she could not eat. It had gotten so bad that her doctors had all agreed that she would need an operation to fix an intestinal problem that medicine was not fixing. The problem was dire, she had not been able to keep down solid food for two weeks, she was losing weight rapidly and becoming very weak due to a liquid diet. She tried yogurts, soups, health smoothies, nothing would stay down. She could keep down only liquids such as juices, broths and her favorite, coffee.
A few days before her operation was scheduled, I went to visit her. I had suggested that she give up coffee until after the operation, as she drinks a very strong coffee and it could be making the problem worse. She was not happy about the idea, but she gave it a shot. On my way to visit her, I stopped by my kosher grocery store and saw coffee flavored yogurt. She doesn’t keep Cholov Yisroel, and this was, but I thought it might cheer her up and I bought her one cup of this yogurt. She had tried other yogurts, and they did not help, but she really wanted to try this yogurt even though I had expected her to have it after her operation. She ate it and had no problem keeping it down! Of course, I brought her more the next day. She ate them and sure enough, no problems. Then she tried solid foods, no problems! Her doctor had called to discuss pre-surgery terms, and she had told the doctor that all of her symptoms were gone. The doctor had her go in for a check up and the problem actually was gone! Her surgery was canceled and this woman is doing just fine. She now eats Cholov Yisroel, coffee flavored yogurt on a regular basis.
Cholov Yisroel is real. It’s not just an extra “chumrah” – it truly makes a difference, both in ruchniyus and in gashmiyus!