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EATING ONLY SPECIFIC KIND OF MEAT
February 2006
Rabbi Monique Susskind Goldberg

Question

Dear Rabbi,

I've a question for you, it's maybe an easy question, but I don't know a thing regarding Jewish practice. Why can't you eat some specific kinds of meat.

Answer

The prohibition of eating certain animals is part of the Jewish dietary laws. Those laws are meant to sanctify daily life. By restricting what one is allowed to eat, as well as how one is permitted to eat (for instance not to eat milk products and meat together), Jewish Law obliges a person to sanctify even the most basic need to survive and dominate his/her "animal" impulses to eat any thing when he/she is hungry.

In each of our acts we should be mindful of God. Therefore, in addition to observing the guidelines placed upon us with respect to prohibited food, it is a widely accepted and traditional practice to say a blessing before and after eating.
In the Garden of Eden, man was provided with fruit to eat and it was not intended that humans would kill animals for his sustenance. However, after the flood, God understood that men could not control the desire for meat and although He granted permission for eating meat, many restrictions were applied - i.e. -- not to consume blood, and to consume only certain animals and certain parts of permitted animals. You can find the list of permissible animals in the Bible, in Leviticus (Chap.11). At the end of the enumeration of the animals, verse 44 states: "For I the Lord am your God: you shall sanctify yourself and be holy for I am holy...". There is no reason given why one animal is permitted while another is forbidden ,we simply accept it as God's will, recorded in the Bible.

I hope I answered your question.

 
 

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The Schechter Institutes, Inc.:

Box 3566, P.O.Box 8500, Philadelphia, PA, 19178-3566, Tel: 1-866-830-3321, schechter@thelapingroup.com

Jerusalem Campus: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies:

4 Avraham Granot St., Jerusalem, Israel, 91160, Tel: 972-747-800-600, pr@schechter.ac.il, www.schechter.edu

Tel Aviv Campus: Neve Schechter – Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Culture:

42 Chelouche St., Neve Zedek, Tel: 03-5170358, office@neve.org.il, www.neve-schechter.org.il