You ask a very fair question.
Unfortunately, though, the halakhah is that a mezuzah, tefillin, and a
shofar that is not made from an animal is not kosher and one is unable to
fulfill the mitzvah by using them (Rambam -hilchot shofar 1:1, tefillin &
As Jews and vegetarians, we must realize that the Torah is Divine and,
even though it might sometimes be difficult for us to understand G-d's reasoning
behind His commandments, we must nevertheless try as best as we can to
fulfill the Torah's commandments, as prescribed by the
Written and the Oral law.
This lesson is best illustrated by the incident of the "akeidat
yitzchak," where Abraham was tested by G-d and
was commanded to sacrifice his own son. His whole life,
Abraham had been teaching thousands of students to forsake idol worship and
to believe in the Creator (Rashi on genesis 12:5). These idol worshippers used
to sacrafice their own children for their gods. As such, it
was Abraham's greatest test to overcome his personal feelings and
beliefs that he had been preaching his entire life and surrender
his intellect to the will of G-d.
As an observant Jew, even though I choose not to eat animals, I
nevertheless recognize that everything was created for a purpose. If G-d, the
highest of perfection and compassion, wills that I use a mezuzah of animal
parchment, it is not for me to question His rightiousness. As a rabbi of mine
once remarked to me: "Don't be holier than the Pope!" :)
Only received one reply so far, so I'd be very interested in reading
your views. And, of course anyone else's views.
email@example.com, stats613@j... wrote:
> Good question.
I'd be happy to offer you an answer if you haven't
received too many.
> On Mon,
04 Oct 2004 16:52:09 -0000 "Phoenix" <phoenixpiano@a...>
> How can a Jewish vegan (or vegetarian for that
matter) have a
> Mesusa-parchment that isn't made from
animal skin? Numerous
> in the Tanakh teach against
cruelty to animals. Since the animal
> to die for the
parchment to be made, something I'm totally against,
> how can one
fulfill this obligation?
> The same question applies to the
leather used for Tefillin and the
> ram's horn used for the