For an animal to be Kosher it must chew its cud and have split hooves. The Camel is deemed non-Kosher because it only chews its cud; likewise, the pig because it only has split hooves.
Rabbi Shimshon Pincus zt”l explains the symbolism: people often act in a way that appears righteous to others, they have Kosher signs on the outside, while within they are selfish and dishonest. They can be compared to the pig whose Kosher signs appear only on the outside of its body. Others are often filled with good intentions and righteous beliefs, yet there is little manifestation of that in their actions. They compare to the camel – Kosher only on the inside. Inward and outward refinement is the ideal.
Not having reached the ideal, should we be pigs or camels? The Sages say “In the future the Al-mighty will return the pig to us.” This doesn’t mean pig meat will one day be Kosher – Jewish dietary laws are eternal. With this symbolism in mind, consider that if one exhibits the signs of the pig, outwardly righteous, yet inwardly self-serving, most likely their outward actions will eventually refine their inner being. Act as if you love others, and you’ll begin to love others – spiritually refined and G-dly through and through. If you only study how to love others, only believe in love of others, its impact on you and the world is lacking if it’s never displayed in action.
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Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org