Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pork Is Still Not Kosher

Mossa'ei Shabbath Parshath Behar-Behuqothai 5767

Hillel Fendel on Arutz 7 reports that the Chief Rabbinate is to Review its Recent Ban of the Christian-Jewish Conference, Woman To Woman, sponsored by the "Bridges For Peace" organization.

The original report on the Chief Rabbinate Nixing the Christian-Jewish Conference can be read at this link.

Everyone seems to be chiming in on this one, so why shouldn't I?

Rabbi MK Benny ElonRabbi MK Benny Elon, head of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, and Sandra Oster-Baras, Director of the Israel Office of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, and resident of Qarnei Shomron, were not happy with the decision.

And, although I do not know the specific opinion of Arutz 7 radio show host and Land Of Israel co-founder Jeremy Gimpel, I think I'll drag him into this anyway as well.

Rabbi MK Benny Elon, head of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, and Sandra Oster-Baras believe that they are very strict in investigating Christian organizations for missionary before engaging in any dialog, and that the advantages of communicating with Christian allies outweigh any of the disadvantages.

I mention Jeremy Gimpel here, as there was allusion to a show he had done with a representative of a Christian organization in the report on the review of the Rabbinate's Ban. Jeremy was also kind enough to be in touch with me last summer, with answers to my questions about his organization, Land Of Israel. He assured me that he an his partner Ari Abramowitz had no interest in co-dependently convincing goyim to like and accept us, one of my pet-peeves. Rather they were only interested in disseminating information.

CamelThere is a midrash on Parshath Sh'mini in Sefer Wayiqra (Leviticus 11:4-7), regarding four mammals which are expressly forbidden for consumption, the camel, the badger (or hyrax), the rabbit, and the pig.Hyrax The first three are not kosher because even though they chew their cuds, they do not have split hooves. The pig is not kosher because even though it possesses split hooves, it does not chew its cud.

RabbitThe midrash suggests that these four, non-kosher animals represent the four malkhuyoth (kingdoms) which have dominated over the Jewish People. The pig, interestingly enough, often sits with its split hooves out, as if to say, "Look at me! I'm kosher." It also appears to chew its cud, moving its mouth in a similar fashion. In other words, it lies, literally, through its teeth.Pig The pig represents the current and final kingdom, that of Edom.

That's the midrash.

Who is Edom? Rome (Bereshith Rabba, etc).

Who is Edom now? the new Rome...the European Union, the Catholic Church, about the Christian world?

The first three animals listed are not kosher due to their paws, or "hands" and "feet," just like the first three malkhuyoth which ruled over the Jewish were hard on us physically, for the most part, enslaving, pursuing or killing us.

Whereas the pig's non-kosher attribute is in and around the mouth, the part of the body responsible for speech.

The primary weapons of the Christians are their mouths,...their words. They try to convince us of their lies. They entice not so knowledgeable Jews with their knowledge of Hebrew, the Bible, and Jewish history. They steal away Jewish souls, and imprison them.

There really is no other way to describe it.

There is, of course, another midrash suggests that the pig is so-named hazir the Hebrew for lashon hozer (to return).

I'll believe when I see it.

Nonetheless, in this blogger's humble opinion, this "return" of the currently ruling malkhuth of Edom to being kosher is only when the Mashiah arrives, and the Christians finally accept and admit that they were wrong, and begin to repair the damage they have done to Am Yisra'el for the past 2,000 years.

In the meantime, let us please remember one of the many things which set us apart from Christians, as well as from the many others who call themselves "Jewish."

We do not make decisions based on what nor how we feel. Rather we have a hallachic process which we follow based on the combination of Torah shebiKhtav (Written Torah) AND Torah sheb'al Peh (Oral Torah).

I know that all of the afore-mentioned Jews believe that the hallachah supports their activities.

But, what do the experts in Jewish Law, like Rabbi Simhah Kook ShLIT"A, say? ...not to mention Rabbi Avraham Shapira ShLIT"A, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Rabbi Dov Lior ShLIT"A of Qiriyath Arba-Hevron....

I know for a fact that they have yet to rule that pork is kosher.


therapydoc said...

Great post, but a Christian reader would say that you sound angry.

The Sephardic Rabbi in Chicago, Rabbi Michael Azose (there are other rabbis, but he's my fave) loves to take on Jews for Yashka and Jehovah's Witnesses and the like, who come to our frum hood on Shabbas looking for souls. He takes them on pasuk for pasuk.

He always wins. They leave very worried about their futures.

To me, the loving kindness thing goes a long way, and the more Jews are OUT THERE, interacting with the rest of humanity, demonstrating our Yehadus, the more "influence" we have.

Esser Agaroth said...

1) I AM angry.
2) I am working on it, not for them, of course, but for myself. ;-)
3) It is a misswah to hate our enemies, politically-incorrect, but true (often the pattern of hallachah)
4) Haza"l states clearly that anger has its place, long as its not misplaced.
5) Personally, my experience has shown me that anger can cloud and distort my judgment, another reason for me to "work on this."
6) "Rabbi Michael Azose" - the key word here is "rabbi." Not all rabbis are experts in this area, but it sounds like he's one, just like Rb. Tovia Singer or Jews for Judaism rabbis or Yad LeAchim rabbis.
7) One idea is to have certain people like Jeremy or Sandra declared "experts," and allow them to continue their work.
8) But, besides that, I must emphasize that such interactions are specifically described within hallachah, and, like it or not, that's not our choice.

Milhouse said...

The notion that Jews should not have contact with Christian philosemites is ahistorical and has no basis in halacha. Jews always cultivated philosemites, wherever they were, and whether or not their friends kept the 7 mitzvot. In Europe there were many instances when during times of trouble the Jews would run from the mob into the arms of...the bishop, who would protect them, either because he personally liked Jews, or because the Church generally didn't like antisemitic violence unless it organised it.

As for the danger of missionaries, I simply don't trust the judgment of Israeli rabbis who know nothing about Xians or Xianity. Without knowing these three rabbis, I'll bet that if you asked them to elaborate on their objections to this conference, somewhere in their answer they'd mention the pope. Who, of course, is regarded by Xian Fundamentalists as the Whore of Babylon, and not someone to be revered. People who don't know the difference between Protestants and Catholics are not competent to comment on anything to do with Xianity. Yes, I'm going on a stereotype which may not be true in this particular instance, but I'll bet it is.

Nertalmid said...

In Denver, every summer there is a Israel Appreication Day held by mega church called Faith Bible Chapel. One day event, with speakers, booths, music, and was and is a great production they put on. There was a joke amongst the Jewish community in Denver that FBC show was so good and that the Israel Independence Day put on by the Jewish community paled miserably by comparison...that the christians were more Jewish than the Jews(now I understand the Jewish community celebrations are much, much better). This was a really sad commentary of how Jews felt about themselves(at least in Denver). I used to go there because it was on a Sunday and I wanted to see first hand what was going on. One of the big promoters of FBC's event was (is) Bridges for Peace. Yes, all of christians there were pro Israel and sent money and yes, they said they felt shame for the shameful and awful past history towards Jews...and yet, my wife and I and other Jews who went there knew deep down, they really would love it if we converted. It was not said, but you could sense it. There was also, sad to say, Jews who were for Yeshu at the event as well. I, am for discourse and the like...but excuse me for being dense but what is the purpose of this conference? If it is to stand with Israel and say to the world that the whole arab overtures for peace, etc is nothing but a house of cards...then fine. I am not all that welled versed in Hakahkic matters...but if the Rabbi's say this meeting is not Kosher, there is a good reason for it...not only Halahakically, but also maybe they smell a rat as well as I did back in Denver. If christians and their ilk want to make amends for the past and be with us...then do not try to us defeat out common enemies.

Brooklyn Habiru said...

There is some redeeming value in the role Christianity is to play in this world... nonetheless it is falsehood masquerading around as if it were kosher. Eventually this will be rectified, as the RaMBaM puts it in the Mishne Torah in Hilchos Melachim 11:11 :

וכל הדברים האלו של ישוע הנוצרי, ושל זה הישמעאלי שעמד אחריו--אינן אלא ליישר דרך למלך המשיח, ולתקן את העולם כולו לעבוד את ה' ביחד: שנאמר "כי אז אהפוך אל עמים, שפה ברורה, לקרוא כולם בשם ה', ולעובדו שכם אחד" ((ראה צפניה ג,ט

"All those words of Yushka HaNotzri and of this Yishmaeli [i.e., Mohammed] who arose after him are only to make straight the path for the Melech HaMoshiach and to prepare the whole world to serve HaShem together. As it is said: 'For then I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech so that all of them shall call on the name of HaShem and serve Him with one accord' (Zephaniah 3:9)."

For anyone interested I wrote a post last June referencing the same Midrash .

Esser Agaroth said...

Interestingly enough two different people brought this same issue up, one out of the blue.

It is, of course, bedi'avad, but you are correct.

BTW, I hope you're reading the girsah of Moreh Yosef Qafah ZTz"L. :-)

Brooklyn Habiru said...

From my understanding, as you suggest Rav Kappach’s ZTz”L version is definitely much more in line with what the RaMBaM originally wrote. The source I used was Mechon Mamre, which states the following in its translators note:

“The present translation is part of Mechon Mamre's ongoing effort to bring before the Torah learning public, both Jewish and Gentile, our best version of the RaMBaM's Complete Restatement of the Oral Law (Mishneh Torah) in its currently evolving state, as it is developed through examining the texts in the Yemenite manuscripts. Several years ago, our Hebrew version of Mishneh Torah (published in our MTR Freeware) was admittedly only a little better than the usual Vilna reprinted editions; today, we think that it is better than any of the best printed versions (including Qaafih and Frankel); it is even better than the best of the individual manuscripts, which are all marred by significant scribal errors here and there. Our Hebrew version is still being refined, and our updated versions have been published on the Internet twice a year for several years; now that we have put our text online at this site, it is being updated much more regularly, as needed.”

Esser Agaroth said...

Yes, excellent site and resource. I use it all the time. While transferring my blog to its new state and location, I forgot to link it.

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