Shemini: Kashrut and the New Testament

Ladder of Jacob

 “In youth, one learns to talk. In maturity, one learns to be silent.”
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov [1]

In Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1–11:47), we learn of kashrut, or kosher dietary law. “Kashrut” comes from the word kasher כשר meaning “fit,” specifically “fit for consumption.” Through the laws of kashrut, the Bible defines the parameters of what a ‘food’ is. Today, we tend to define “food” by our social norms and standards of society, and give it little further thought. An example where this may be most evident is when an American travels the world and learns first hand of the exotic delicacies eaten by various world cultures. Numerous examples may spark revulsion on the part of the reader, therefore we will refrain from mentioning some of the more revolting dishes. You’re welcome. Without the foundation of the Torah, however, these foods become fair game, ans those who believe that the dietary laws have been…

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