letters to surfers

Q.  What makes food kosher?

Answer by Robert Brow    (www.brow.on.ca)

The list of clean and unclean mammals,  fish, birds, and insects is given in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 11).  There is no way an unclean animal  such as a pig, fish without fins and scales, or  a seagull, owl, or vulture, could ever be kosher.  But when lamb or beef is eaten, a rabbi should make sure the blood has been drained out (Leviticus 7:26) and a prayer is offered.   The purpose of the prayer is to praise God for our life and our food.  It also includes the idea that "This animal is dying so that we can eat."

Among Christians all mammals, fish, and birds are free for us to eat (see Mark 7:18-19, Acts 10:9-15, 28; 11:2-12), and they are the equivalent of kosher if we give thanks for our daily food (1 Timothy 4:3-4).    I think it would help if when animals are butchered on a farm, we included a thanksgiving that "This animal is dying so that we can eat."     Among North American Indian tribes they would have a prayer when a tree was cut down.  "This tree is dying so that we can build our teepee."  That kind of respect is more difficult in a meat packing factory or a sawmill.   But it would be good for us and our children to remember this from time to time.



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