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Q: Baby Rabbi Gellman, I attending advanced to your cavalcade in Saturday’s New Haven Register and apprehend it faithfully. However, afresh I’m abashed I begin you absent the mark on the meat-eating issue.
True, Adam and Eve ate alone the bake-apple of the copse (I’ve consistently affected that included nuts) in the Garden of Eden, and that was perfection. Back God casting them out because they sinned, they again had to assignment for a living, and vegetables (“herbs of the field”) were added to their diet. There was no abhorrence of man amid the animals, for how abroad could Noah accept aggregate them all into the Ark? They were not yet bistro anniversary other, as Noah was able to advance them for a year onboard afterwards killing some to augment others!
However, Genesis tells us that afterwards the flood, God declared that the abhorrence of man will abatement on the beasts, birds, fish, etc. And that “everything that lives and moves will be aliment for you … as I gave you the blooming plants, I now accord you everything. But you charge not eat the meat with the aspect still in it.” Not that they were not to eat the meat, but that the claret charge be drained out first. It’s the preparation, not the product! And isn’t that what makes it Kosher? Keep on writing. — from E
A: Baby E, as Oscar Wilde already said to a woman who disagreed with him, “My baby I am so apologetic that you did not accept the amusement of compassionate me.”
You are absolutely actual in your arbitrary of the Bible’s teaching about bistro meat. I presented in my cavalcade what you presented in your question: People were alone accustomed permission to eat fruits and grains (nothing was said about nuts, but I accede with you that they charge accept been befuddled in there). The permission to eat meat does not appear until the agreement with Noah afterwards the flood in Genesis 9.
You are additionally actual that the permission comes with a caveat. Any meat to be eaten charge aboriginal be drained of blood, and this charcoal a claim for adequate meat today. Immediately afterwards the permission to eat blood-drained meat, the Bible includes a aberrant “blood reckoning” for the claret of all the animals we do eat. Then, in addition aberrant connection, the Bible requires a claret reckoning for every being we murder.
This claret reckoning includes basic abuse for murder, but it is additionally declared in advertence to blood, “Whoever sheds the claret of man by man shall his claret be shed.” (Genesis 9:6). I anticipate the abstraction abaft this affiliation of verses is that already we see claret abounding from a collapsed beastly we become beneath abashed by the afterimage of claret abounding from a collapsed person.
In any event, the point of all these biblical laws is acutely to announce that bistro meat, admitting permitted, is about acutely a acknowledgment to animal weakness. Let me say this addition way. Some things acceptable in the Bible are low-level virtues, and the Bible additionally shows us how to alive on a college akin of benevolence and moral virtue. It is as if God is adage to us, “You can do this, but you can additionally do better.” This teaches us that the Bible offers us a multi-level truth. Some things are OK, and some things are bigger than OK. It is aloof far too simplistic to say that article is acceptable or forbidden.
We see this multi-level biblical ethical arrangement in added areas. Waging war adjoin an enemy, for example, is a low-level permission. One charge be accustomed to avert one’s country and ancestors and person, but back waging war the Bible does not acquiesce acid bottomward an enemy’s bake-apple copse (Deuteronomy 20:19-20). Bake-apple and olive copse booty years to buck bake-apple and acid them bottomward was advised a blazon of war crime. So waging war is permitted, but that does not beggarly that any act is acceptable in war time.
I am acutely confused by this biblical ethical attitude. It parallels the way we accession children, teaching them low-level truths back that is all their adolescent minds can comprehend, and again teaching them higher-level truths as they grow.
For example, we aboriginal advise accouchement to do the appropriate affair aloof to abstain abuse in the hopes that anytime they will apprentice to do the appropriate affair aloof because it is the appropriate thing. Perhaps God gave us a two-tier belief in the Bible because we are like God’s children. Doing the appropriate affair is added like a ladder than a bull’s-eye.
So bistro meat is permitted, but not causing the adversity and afterlife of a active affair is acutely a college way in the two-tiered belief of the Bible.
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