Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Old Testament Dietary Edition




Whenever I think I had it bad growing up as a Christian where Mom was the church organist/choir director and Dad was a deacon, I just have to schlep over to a Jewish website so I can see the dictatorial demands of a God who would categorically damn the entire Food Channel, and I feel better.

I'm talking, of course, about being kosher.

Aish.com has a Ask the Rabbi section. Here is today's question:
One of my co-workers brought a box of chocolate-covered grasshoppers to the office. Many people tried them, but since I keep kosher I begged off, saying that I was grossed out. Did I do the right thing?
Truly, a burning theological question rivaled to the one I pondered at a vegetarian diner the other day: Is a vegetarian reuben sandwich still a reuben? (It was quite tasty.)

But I digress.

Here is the answer.
You did the right thing not to eat the grasshoppers, because they most likely weren’t kosher.
Many are surprised to discover that four species of grasshoppers are kosher (Leviticus 11:22). However, all other insects are not kosher. 
One might think that this has little practical application to our modern eating habits. But in truth, many leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli) often contain insects and must be carefully examined before they can be eaten. 
Some fruits like raspberries and strawberries are also problematic. Rabbis have developed specific methods to properly check these fruits and vegetables for insects. For details, see www.kosherquest.org/book.php?id=INSECTS_IN_FOOD.htm 
One more point I’d like to add: The commentators say that when we are offered a non-kosher food, rather than decline by saying that we are “grossed out,” it’s actually better to say: “I’d really like that, but since I keep kosher I don’t eat that.” In this way, we communicate the ideals of holiness that the Torah instills, and this can serve as an inspiration to others.
What cracks me up is the we communicate the ideals of holiness that the Torah instills part. Tell me again what moral principle the chocolatification of a grasshopper breaks? And no, 'Cause God said so is not an adequate answer.

This is Purgatory.

LiP

3 comments:

  1. By claiming he doesn't want to eat the chocolate covered bug because he wants to keep kosher, he could be helping out a shy guy in the office who doesn't want to look like a wuss.

    Jewish guy: "Sorry, I'd love to eat that, but I can't, I'm keeping kosher"
    Shy guy: "uhh, yeah me too, it's a damn shame too, I definitely wanted to give it a try"

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  2. The kosher laws are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping the laws of the Torah. And let's not forget such modern-day religious inventions as "kosher phones" and "kosher hemlines".

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    Replies
    1. Kosher phones... its amazing that they exist and that the rabbis think this actually stops all the naughty that is associated with text messages between teens.

      Whats next Kosher teddy bears (metallic and spiky) to stop you children getting comfortable while they sleep.

      Delete

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