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Ask A Jew: Are Jewish Dietary Laws Outdated?

What questions do you have about Judaism? Submit them online, or fill out the form below. 

By Hyphen Parent

Do you think Jewish dietary laws are outdated?

There are many theories as to why Kashrut laws came about. Some people point to different issues of the time. Some point to theories on politics. Some discuss health issues. To Jews, none of that matters. What matters is that the laws stem from the Torah. There are specific laws that stem from text in the Torah. In Judaism, they can never be considered outdated because they are not a symptom of the time. They are rules from G-d.  There are many different aspects of the kosher rules, but I’ll just focus on a few and how they’re still relevant today.

For meat to be kosher, the slaughter of the animal must be as quick and painless as possible. Concern for living creatures is rooted in empathy and Torah and will never be outdated.

We say certain blessings before we eat. There are different blessings for different types of foods. These require us to know more about the origins of our food. We need to know about our food in order to know the correct blessing to say. Does this come from something that grows from the ground? Did it grow from a tree? What type of food is it? We have to have a certain amount of knowledge about our foods. Being aware and knowledgeable about our food is never outdated.

Before Jews eat anything, we thank G-d for that food. Not only is being thankful not outdated, but new research suggests expressing gratitude leads to psychological benefits. 

Jewish dietary laws continue to be pertinent to our time. They’re not at all outdated.


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