Q & A: BIBLICALLY CLEAN, OR KOSHER?

QUESTION:

I am better educated now on clean and unclean meats, now…I was told that only portions of a cow could be eaten. What parts are clean and does that apply to other animals?

ANSWER:

Shalom. It is good that you have chosen to study and learn concerning the Biblical dietary laws; which are a key part of becoming Holy, even as He is Holy (Lv. 11:44-47).

However, I believe you may be confusing what is called the Orthodox Rabbinical Laws of Kashrut (Kosher), with the simple Biblical Laws of Clean and Unclean. Not that there is anything wrong with applying some of the requirements of kosher living to your diet, if for no other reason than your personal health.

Just remember that in Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism, the laws of Kashrut are man-made additions too, and outside those of the written Torah. Being ‘Kosher’ according to Rabbinical Law is a complete lifestyle that goes far beyond the requirements of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ foods as listed there.

In the interest of not wanting to ‘through the baby out with the bathwater,’ we believe that there are certain requirements of eating Kosher that should be applied to the diet of the individual believer, simply for the reasons of eating as healthy as possible to maintain ‘the body temple’. Yes, you can go vegetarian or vegan. There is Biblical evidence to suggest Daniel and his companions were vegetarians, but there is still no evidence of a requirement by Elohim for His children to do so.

Eating Kosher can be a relatively simple thing. We do so in our home by ensuring that all processed foods have received the ‘stamp’ or ‘seal’ of one of the many Koshering Authorities existing today, such as the ‘Orthodox Union’. They are one of the largest and oldest of these organizations, and their seal is identified simply by the letter ‘O’ with the letter ‘U’ contained inside. But as I say, there are many such authorities, and Believers would be well served by ensuring that your processed foods have received the seal of any one of them.

As a matter of fact, you might be surprised at the amount and types of foods you already have in your home that are approved as being ‘Kosher’! Finding fresh meat considered Kosher can be a bit more challenging, all depending on where you live. Making sure that your food is Kosher, will add another, stricter set of guidelines applied to those already issued by the USDA.

Considering the level of genetic engineering being applied to livestock and most all foods today (thus increasing production and profitability), adding another, stricter level of inspection and acceptance beyond meeting the minimal Biblical standards of ‘Clean/Unclean’, becomes a necessity for the city-dwelling health conscious believer, unable to produce their own food.

‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire, its head with its legs and its inward parts‘ Ex 12:9 TS2009

As to what parts of a ‘clean’ animal are acceptable to eat; consider the first Pesach meal in which ALL of the animal was to be consumed. Surely that Mitzvah (Commandment) would not have been given to Moshe for all Yisra’el to follow if it had not been acceptable to Elohim. Our modern social mores and the Western/Greco/Romanish culture we live in today dictate certain sensibilities to us that would cause us concern, if not outright disgust, at eating certain parts of any living thing, even though the animal may be called ‘clean.’ However, that of itself does not make any particular part of the animal ‘unclean’.

There are many good books out there that will explain the process and benefits of a Kosher diet, even going into the types of packaging allowed to keep Kosher foods, well, Kosher. Many different types of packaging are in use today, with some using the enzymes of unclean animals in their manufacturing. This fact alone would cause what would be considered a Biblically clean food, through contact with it, to be ‘unclean.’ One such book simply titled “Is It Kosher?”, can be found at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Kosher-Encyclopedia-Food-Facts-Fallacies/dp/1583306161/ref=dp_ob_title_bk, as well as at other booksellers.

The thing for us as Natsarene to remember is that the laws of Clean and Unclean foods as stated by Torah, are the standard by which we are to follow. Going a step further and ensuring that these foods have been processed, prepared, and packaged under the guidelines of Orthodox Rabbinical Authorities, gives us the added assurance that our clean foods remain as free from contamination by man as possible.

 

P.S. The picture at the top of this article is of my sister, and her bottle fed ‘bummer’ lamb on our ranch in Western Oregon (circa 1966).

CLEAN, UNCLEAN, OR, AM I BEING GOOSED?

Recently, I’ve seen the same questions concerning the dietary laws of clean and unclean as outlined in Wayyiqra (Lv) 11:1-47; Debarim (Dt) 14:3-21; and others. That question concerns the waterfowl, duck or geese. It seems that the Torah does not specifically list them one way or the other, even though the swan is clearly named as being unclean, yet Rabbinical Judaism has no problem listing them with other clean fowl. So why then shouldn’t I include duck or goose in my diet? Well, if you accept the Takanot and Maasim of the Rabbi’s cart blanch as taught within the Talmud, then this will be a non-issue for you; as they have already determined that their teaching takes precedence over Torah Shebikhtav (The Written Torah).

However if we would Just follow along with the pattern of clean and unclean as seen in our Biblical references, the answer to our question becomes obvious regardless of the animal being specifically named or not. 

Notice what makes individual animals unclean, and you will see it is the regular diet of the beast. Most all are scavengers and will eat just about anything and everything dead, (partially or fully), or putrid, and what would typically be considered as the waste of other living creatures. If you are familiar with the normal diet of these waterfowl, common sense would then dictate that duck or goose would fall into that category as they are typically bottom feeders as other unclean waterfowl that are listed.

Now inevitably the question will come up, “what if I raised the animals myself while ensuring that their diet consisted of only ‘clean’ foods, i.e.; fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables?” Well my friend, if that’s what makes an animal Biblically clean, we should be able to apply the same logic to all animals originally listed as ‘unclean’ as long as we make sure they have a clean diet before being eaten by us. That would make the pig, the camel, catfish, shellfish, etc., including all birds of prey; acceptable as ‘clean’ for our consumption and we could do away with that part of Torah!

Whoa, just a minute! I didn’t mean to get that ridicules but I do want you to understand where that type of reasoning comes from and where it goes to.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death”    Mishle (Proverbs) 14:12 TS2009

However, this makes no difference to those who are determined to call black and white gray; so that they can do what they want to do.

Why the debate over such things when the Torah is very clear over what makes an animal unclean, and the reason for our not partaking of it? If you think there is the slightest possibility that Elohim does not want you to consume a bottom feeder, why pursue the question any further? Surely it is not in the interest of walking in Holiness with YHWH (B’H), is it?

So don’t be ‘ducked’ or ‘goosed’! Use the mind YHWH has blessed you with and do not fight against the meaning of His Torah, or spend your time looking for loopholes in it. There are none!