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Re: Lou.. I'd really like your thoughts on this... NikkiT2

Posted by Dinah on November 30, 2002, at 16:04:17

In reply to Re: Lou.. I'd really like your thoughts on this... Lou Pilder, posted by NikkiT2 on November 30, 2002, at 9:57:06

I'm not Lou, but I looked it up in my "Etz Hayim Torah and Commentary". It seems that the idea is that "Blood is the life force in living creatures."

This is repeated in Genesis 9:4 "You must not, however eat flesh with its life-blood in it" which is interpreted as meaning that an animal must first be slaughtered before eating it.

Deuteronomy 12:23-25 states "But make sure that you do not partake of the blood; for the blood is life, and you must not consume the life with the flesh. You must not partake of it; you must pour it on the ground like water: you must not partake of it, in order that it may go well with you and with your descendents to come, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord."

Leviticus 17:10-14 states "And if anyone of the house of Israel or the strangers who reside among them partakes of any blood, I will set My face against the person who partakes of the blood, and I will cut him off from among his kin. For the life of the flesh is the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar; it is the blood, as life, that effects expiation. Therefore I say to the Israelite people: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger who resides among you partake of blood. And if any Israelite or any stranger who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of all flesh - its blood is its life. Therefore I say to the Israelite people: You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Anyone who partakes of it will be cut off."

The commentary includes the following "These rules... rest on the premise that slaughtering animals for food should never be a callous or a casual act. The Torah inculcates in us a horror of shedding blood, even the blood of animals. It would seem that, for the Torah, vegetarianism is the human ideal (see Genesis 1:30, 9:1-7), and that eating meat, taking the life of a living creature for our dinner, is a concession to human appetite."

And at Deuteronomy, the commentary includes "We are commanded to cover the blood of the slaughtered animal (Lev. 17:13) to inculcate in us a sense of ambivalence for having taken an animal life to satisfy our appetites."

Hope this helps.

Dinah

 

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