Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's wrong with meat and cheese together?

Had a bit of class today, it's called Power Wealth and Purity in the New Testament-so looks facinating. To get us started we looked at a few laws from the Torah, that we as Christians don't follow anymore, but Jews do.

The one that has intrigued me is Exodus 34:26
"Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
"Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."

And from that Kosher Law dictates that meat and milk products can not be eaten together, which seems like tad of a stretch to me, but that's another story.

The way I tend to look at a lot of the OT Laws is that they were instructions for clean good living in the conditions they were in, hence the rulings about mildew, about people needing to go outside the camp to clean themselves after certain bodily functions etc. Even circumcision makes medical sense in such a dry sandy climate.

But I'm struggling to see why meat and cheese is no good? Will ask my newfound Jewish friend on Friday, but just wondered if anybody else could possibly think why that might be a law?


Anonymous said...

Sorry this has turned into a long post…

As I said yesterday it has been interpreted to mean that we shouldn't mix the meat from a DEAD animal with the milk products (not only milk) from a LIVING animal. Ie. DEATH and LIFE shoudln't be mixed.

The kosher way of slaughtering is about minimising the pain for the animal and being sensitive. Accordingly, it's considered cruel to eat a baby with the mother's milk (even though the meat we eat is never really THE calf/kid from that particular cow - but it is often the same species sometimes).

Kosher laws are more complicated than not eating pork, not eating fish without scales and not mixing meat and milk. There's stuff there about not eating carrion birds and not eating animals that don't chew their cud.

As to WHY we shouldn't eat animals that don't chew their cud - the Torah offers no reason (not that i know of).

I think (but there must be other theories) the main, perhaps haughty, reason for the 'meat-milk-thing' is for the preservation of the Hebrews and their culture. If you don't/can't eat with other people then you don't socialise with them, therefore there's less intermarriage etc etc.

I do agree that, that one line has been stretched. Orthodox Jews don't even fish with milk! However, so many things have been stretched or excluded or included in the way Jews live today. For example, 'A man may not lie with a man like he does with a woman'. This says nothing about lesbianism; neither does it talk about 'thinking homosexual thoughts'.

...........It's funny, when my dad planted young trees a few years ago he said we weren't allowed to eat the fruit from first season... when I asked why he said, 'that's what my parents told me when i was young'. I guess it comes from "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God."


Janet Woodlock said...

I had heard that boiling a kid in its mother's milk was an ancient Canaanite practice to appease some pagan god or other... hence the prohibition was primarily religious.

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