Hebrew Roots/Unclean foods/Other
THE PROHIBITION ON BLOOD AND FAT
In the beginning Yahweh God gave man the fruits and seed-bearing herbs to eat. Genesis 1:29
He gave them one command regarding something that they were not to eat. And it was in regard to this tree in the midst of the Garden which He had prohibited, that they disobeyed and became fallen creatures. The test of obedience was centered upon what they ate - their bodily appetites. Genesis 2:16-17
"And Yahweh commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; But of the Tree of the Knowledge of Righteousness and Evil you must not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17
Fleshly appetites not brought under subjection to the Word of God will cause us to sin.
As a result of the changes after the Flood, man was given the liberty to eat meat, with one restriction, they were not to eat the blood of the animal, establishing the principle that life was sacred and each being's life was in its blood. Therefore man was not to eat the life (blood) of the animal, only its flesh.
"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, the blood." Genesis 9:3-4 This applied to all mankind after the flood.
This principle of the life being in the blood was made clearer later in Leviticus: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar. It is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore, I say to the children of Israel; No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. Whatever man of the children of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust; For it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore, I said to the children of Israel: You shall not eat the blood of any flesh: for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whosoever eats it shall be cut off" Leviticus 17:11-14
And again, here it includes the blood of birds as well as animals: "Moreover you shall not eat any blood in any of your dwellings, whether of bird or beast. Whoever eats any blood, that person shall be cut off from his people." Leviticus 7:26-27
We are also instructed not to eat the fat of an animal: "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood." Leviticus 3:17
THE PRINCIPLE OF BLOOD PROHIBITION
The word "blood" is translated from the Hebrew root word "dam". In The Hebraic Tongue Restored, Fabre d'Olivet gives a deeper understanding of the meaning of the word "blood" . "In a broader sense, it is that which is identical; in a more restricted sense, it is blood, assimilative bond between soul and body, according to the profound thought of Moses..... It is that which assimilates, which becomes homogeneous: mingles with another thing: thence the general idea of that which is no longer distinguishable, which ceases to be different: that which renounces its deity, its individuality, is identified with the whole, is calm, quiet, silent, asleep. (page 323)
Yahweh says that the life is in the blood and we can understand from this definition that the blood assimilates the life of the person as an interactive agent which bonds the soul and body as one. The life of the soul or the personality, of any being is in its blood. Seeing that the life of the soul is in the blood, when we eat blood, the traits or characteristics of that blood can be assimilated or mingled with our blood. If we mingle that blood with our own, we take on some of the composition of that blood and disrupt our own normal blood composition.
This will affect our DNA, and divert it from its original purpose of building us into the likeness of Yahweh God. This is the same principle as partaking of the blood of Messiah, by faith, there is a transmission of His life to us.
There have been recent studies that show that the desires of one person (their personality traits) have been transferred to another by blood transfusions. The transference of the soul of one person to the other was through the other person having an infusion of their blood. Their 'life', was in their blood.
Aggressiveness has also been achieved by wrestlers, football players, and other sports figures by consuming huge quantities of steak with the blood still in it before their sports events. The same aggressiveness has been achieved in soldiers before battle.
We are not to ingest the soulish life of any animal that we eat. Not only are we eating the life in the physical elements of that animal, but we are also ingesting everything that it carried in its blood. The function of blood is to circulate through the body carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and organs and waste products and poisons away from those cells, to the excretory ducts in the body. Also present in an animal's blood are the bacteria, viruses, infections, hormones, drugs and other microorganisms, according to its state of health and its diet. Infectious diseases can be transmitted to man by ingesting the blood of diseased animals and there are definite consequences and effects to this consumption of animal blood. This is true even within the kosher/clean classification of animals.
In today's methods of feeding animals, there are a lot of unnatural substances fed to them to obtain a quick return. It is common practice to give herbivore animals concentrated high protein substances which have been made from ground up remains of other dead animals and other refuse material, fortified with hormones, vitamins and minerals to promote quick growth of flesh and fat on the skeletal framework of the animal.
The scriptures teach us that we may eat clean meats as long as the blood is not in it. Once the blood has been removed from the meat of a clean animal and the meat is fully cooked, it is perfectly safe, healthy and beneficial for the human diet.
THE PRINCIPLE OF FAT PROHIBITION
"You shall not eat any fat, of ox or sheep or goat. And the fat of an animal that dies naturally, and the fat of what is torn by wild beasts, may be used in any other way; but you shall by no means eat it. For whoever eats the fat of the animal of which men offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, the person shall be cut off from his people." Leviticus 7:23-25
We now know medically that the consumption of fat raises the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in human arteries and veins. This in turn causes atherosclerosis. A diet rich in animal fats causes heart problems. It has also been linked to Pancreatic and Colorectal Cancers (Diseases, 1983, pp.224,228).
THE NEW COVENANT DECREE
With the admission of "Gentiles" into the Church, the apostles decreed that the only ruling that they would make at that time was to uphold the prohibition of blood and things strangled, as well as things offered to idols and immorality; as the basic necessities for communal relationship with the believers (Acts 15:28-29).
The rest they would learn as they continued to fellowship week by week and learned the teachings of Moses. But the abstinence from eating blood directly and indirectly from things which had been strangled, rather than by proper slaughter, were immediate issues. Strangling causes the blood to become congealed in the flesh.
Modern methods of slaughtering animals by stunning them, are similar to strangling, in that the blood is not released quickly enough from the body for it to properly drain. By stunning the animal, in the involuntary reaction of shock through the nervous system, a boost of adrenaline is sent through the body which causes some of the blood to congeal in the tissues. Therefore, meat slaughtered in modern abattoirs is not suitable to be eaten without being treated. This means that we should drain the blood from any meat we intend to eat (koshering) and not to eat things made from blood, like blood sausage, or other bodily organs which contain blood in them.
THE CONSUMPTION OF MEAT
"You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the foreigner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a consecrated people to Yahweh your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk." (Deuteronomy 14:21)
- The Hebrew word that is translated as "dies of itself" is "nevelah" which is a term for anything which has died in any other way other than by ritual slaughter (shehitah).
From the ruling of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:28-29), former Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive tree of Israel, are required to observe the abstinence from blood and are no longer classed as a "Gentile" with the "liberty" to eat flesh which is contaminated by blood in its tissues and therefore, "unclean". See Ephesians 2:19; Romans 11:17-18. To do so is breaking God's commandments. See Isaiah 65:2-4.
DIETARY LAWS from the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 6, page 28., Koshering (Preparation of Meat) The prohibition against the consumption of blood (Lev.7:26-27-17:10-14) is the basis for the process of koshering meat. The purpose of the process is to draw out and drain the meat of non-veinal blood, before it is cooked. The blood can be removed either by salting the meat, or by roasting it over an open flame. Grilling meat will also draw the blood out of the flesh of it. It should be washed before and after cooking.
In koshering meat, a sodium or salt solution has a dehydrating effect which draws the water and blood from the animals tissues. This is done by the process of osmosis, as water moves from the substance of a higher concentration to one of a lower one. The salt solution dries out the meat to a point where no bacteria can grow and cause putrefaction of the meat. The effect on bacteria that are already present is to kill them immediately by depriving them of needed moisture. This kosher curing and preservation method has been used since the beginning, to prepare meat for safe consumption. This also prevents the growth of moulds, fungi and yeasts.
Meat should be koshered within 72 hours after slaughter so as not to permit the blood to congeal. The sciatic nerve, innards and the fat should first be removed. Then the meat should be soaked for half an hour, drained and then salted on all surfaces and set aside on a perforated surface to allow the blood to drain through it. The salt will draw out the blood in the flesh in a few hours. Wash the flesh of the meat again to remove the salt and cook it.
Ritual Slaughter (Shechita): "Only a trained kosher slaughterer (shochet) whose piety and expertise have been approved by rabbinic authorities is qualified to slaughter an animal. The trachea and esaphagus of the animal are severed with a special razor-sharp, perfectly smooth blade causing instantaneous death with no pain to the animal. After the animal has been properly slaughtered, a trained inspector (bodek) examines the internal organs for any physiological abnormalities that may render the animal non-kosher (treif). There are special cutting procedures for beef, veal and lamb, called "Nikkur" in Hebrew. Many blood vessels, nerves, and lobes of fat are forbidden and must be removed; a costly and time-consuming procedure." (Orthodox Union)
Done correctly, a kosher slaughter causes very little or no discernible suffering to the animal as it is rendered insensate almost immediately. Both the Humane Slaughter act and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have acknowledged that kosher slaughter is more humane than the common method.