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Topic

Kosher foods are healthy.

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With 1 vote and 7 points ahead, the winner is ...

Jonathan-Horowitz
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Health
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1486
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Shalom.

I am arguing that Kosher foods are scientifically healthy on the basis that the Rambam says that all mitzvahs are healthy or reasonable. The famous sage, ibn Ezra, said that if in any law we found no intelligent reason to keep it, we should abandon it entirely. The list goes on forever, so I am not discussing all the laws. I'm discussing only kosher foods. If you want to discuss other laws or the Ten Commandments, please start a new debate.

The Jewish diet (kosher foods) has been around for thousands of years. We have prepared the Jewish Seder equally as long. Orthodox Jews, including Rabbi Moses Maimonides, found health benefits to this diet. However, non-kosher foods are equally healthy, even if they do not follow our strict guidelines. Selfish and mixing meat and milk are for example healthy. So why are Jews prohibited from such consumptions? One could argue that it is a healthy diet for non-Jews and that the only purpose kosher serves, like many mitzvot, is a reminder of G-d. But I'd argue for more. Whether or not these laws were given directly from G-d is beside the point (I actually do believe they were given by G-d to Moshe in case it matters to you). Nevertheless, the laws offer a healthy diet that all can follow.

For example, kosher Jews are healthier than non-kosher Jews. It is known that the Jewish diet lowers cholesterol levels because it is forbidden to mix milk and meat. This also means that Jews do not eat out in fast-food restaurants. That's 90% of the American diet! Its o wonder you never see a fat Hasid! This is because it takes a long time for cholesterol levels to drop when you enjoy cheese. However, if you eat them separately, the levels take longer to break down, resulting in killing fat. Can you imagine the SAD (standard American diet) consuming five Big Macs a day? It slows your levels to the point where they have no place to go. As a result, your body converts them into fat and then you gain a pound. Yet, most non-Jews are not even aware of this. Because the food industry pushes for fattening foods. But Jews know because we have a Bible.

It is fair to say that the rabbis didn't introduce all of these scientific terms and could only work with what they had at their day. However, science is proving the kosher diet is as healthy.

Round 1
Pro
Shalom.

I am arguing that Kosher foods are scientifically healthy on the basis that the Rambam says that all mitzvahs are healthy or reasonable. The famous sage, ibn Ezra, said that if in any law we found no intelligent reason to keep it, we should abandon it entirely. The list goes on forever, so I am not discussing all the laws. I'm discussing only kosher foods. If you want to discuss other laws or the Ten Commandments, please start a new debate.

The Jewish diet (kosher foods) has been around for thousands of years. We have prepared the Jewish Seder equally as long. Orthodox Jews, including Rabbi Moses Maimonides, found health benefits to this diet. However, non-kosher foods are equally healthy, even if they do not follow our strict guidelines. Selfish and mixing meat and milk are for example healthy. So why are Jews prohibited from such consumptions? One could argue that it is a healthy diet for non-Jews and that the only purpose kosher serves, like many mitzvot, is a reminder of G-d. But I'd argue for more. Whether or not these laws were given directly from G-d is beside the point (I actually do believe they were given by G-d to Moshe in case it matters to you). Nevertheless, the laws offer a healthy diet that all can follow.

For example, kosher Jews are healthier than non-kosher Jews. It is known that the Jewish diet lowers cholesterol levels because it is forbidden to mix milk and meat. This also means that Jews do not eat out in fast-food restaurants. That's 90% of the American diet! Its o wonder you never see a fat Hasid! This is because it takes a long time for cholesterol levels to drop when you enjoy cheese. However, if you eat them separately, the levels take longer to break down, resulting in killing fat. Can you imagine the SAD (standard American diet) consuming five Big Macs a day? It slows your levels to the point where they have no place to go. As a result, your body converts them into fat and then you gain a pound. Yet, most non-Jews are not even aware of this. Because the food industry pushes for fattening foods. But Jews know because we have a Bible.

It is fair to say that the rabbis didn't introduce all of these scientific terms and could only work with what they had at their day. However, science is proving the kosher diet is as healthy.

Con
Shalom, and thank you for the debate. You say that, "The famous sage, Ibn Ezra, said that if in any law we [makes no sense', we should abandon it entirely." But then, you add: "Moses Maimonides found health benefits to this [kosher] diet. However, non-kosher foods are equally healthy." 

Should we abandon kashrut? I never really heard of much health benefits, and though you're right about the amazing findings of fat when separating milk and meat (I didn't know that), avoiding pork does. . . what again? Nothing, really. In fact, most scholars assume Jews avoided pork merely because they didn't have much pigs in their households, and therefore, just grew accustomed to them not being around. They also say that separating dairy and poultry was not a direct order from the Most High, but again, merely an ancient custom in use by the Jews of that time.

Mostly all of the laws in kashrut are rabbinic. They're pulled from three simple verses, which hardly say what we think it does. 

לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו. "Do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk." Variations of this appears in Shemot 23:19, 34:26, and Devarim 14:21. The Chazal debated over kosher animals (which apply, domestic or wild?); the waiting period between milk and meat; and if dishes should be separated for each. 

Rambam (Guide, 111:48) thought the phrase in Exodus signified a pagan ritual known only to our distant ancestors, however, no such ritual has been found in the archaeological world. Our phrase "You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk" appears as if it shouldn't belong in Shemot 23:19 and 34:26, as these verses are merely talking about the offerings of the First Fruits.

Most scholars of the day simply avoided the enigmatic context of the verses, only citing it for issues of law. However, the Bekhor Shor went far beyond Jewish hermeneutics, he said that the law was misinterpreted from the very start! He said that G-d did not give us this commandment, insomuch as we understand it from this verse: 

"According to the plain meaning, the term 'bishul' here means grow or complete, similar to its use [in Bereshis 40:10]: “its clusters ripened (הבשילו) into grapes.” This is what the verse is saying: do not allow [the kid] to grow up and be weaned from its mother's milk. [In other words, do not] wait until [the kid's] mother grows it with her milk, rather bring it at the beginning. This fits with the context of the first part of the verse, 'the choice first fruits of your soil [you shall bring].'"

Later, in Shemot 34, he goes on to say. . . 

"The Talmud uses the term similarly (see b. Ketubot 112a): '[The land of Israel] grows its fruit with ease.' This makes it of a piece with the beginning of the verse 'the choice first fruits of your soil [you shall bring].' This implies that they are going through the process of maturation, that one should not delay until the fruits are all ripe."

Accordingly, לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו has nothing to do with eating meat or even cooking it. Instead, the Bekhor Shor is arguing that we're to offer the kid to G-d as soon as possibl. Hence, no sacrificial fat is to be kept till morning. The whole point of it is to not wait around, to not procrastinate with the commandment. As a side, Vayikra 22:27 notifies us that the kid cannot be offered until the eight day.

However, the verse in Devarim is quite different. It's offering us a list of forbidden foods, in which milk and meat being consumed together, is apart of. Let's see what the Bekhor Shor has to say now: "It is forbidden to cook meat in milk. The Torah specifically forbids the cooking. . . . It is also forbidden to eat or derive any benefit from meat [cooked] in milk. The inclusion of the term 'its mother' comes to teach us the reason [for the law], for it would be cruelty to cook the flesh of a kid in the milk of [the mother] which raised it. [Therefore, all milk is forbidden,] for perhaps the animal from which this milk came was its mother. . . . This mitzvah is similar to 'do not take a mother[-bird] with its chicks' and 'an animal and its offspring [should not be slaughtered in one day].'"

He seemed to have been aware of the contextual shift. Was it a form of inner-biblical exegesis, an insert by the Deuteronomist Coder via the Covenant Collection, promising a cumulative evolution of tradition? Or something else, something more surreal? Well, I say this, Jonathan, it can't get anymore confusing than this! If we accept this current, modern theory, that means oral tradition has no place at Sinai, and that the author was looking at a text divorced from its roots. After all, we must recognize that the Torah is multidimensional, and that a Kabbalist would say the verse is speaking about two forces of creation.
Round 2
Pro


It seems that you were a little confused about the health benefits found in kashrut. It is true that non-Jewish diets have some health benefits, nevertheless, Jewish diets have become more favorable to American Jewry. You mentioned that separation between dairy and poultry may have been derived from ancient customs. If those scholars are correct, there may still be divinity. The Rambam says that G-d neither needs nor wants sacrifices, and only allowed it because people in ancient times felt accustomed to the practice. It is a concession to human needs and they felt it was the best way to show love to G-d. He also states that this is not only his view but is the view of the prophets. 

We can add that the ancient rabbis around 70 CE when the temple was destroyed also felt that sacrifices were unnecessary. Therefore when the temple was destroyed, they did not seek a way to continue sacrifices. It would have been easy for them to do so if they felt it was necessary. Of course, as is to be expected, many rabbis disagreed. 

Is the Kosher diet a new food trend?

The Jewish diet includes people with lactose intolerance. If the product in question is marked with "pareve", that signifies that the product contains zero dairy products. Products sold in pareve also do not contain colorants or carmine.[1] In the case of salt products, the kosher container is low in sodium. In comparison to half a teaspoon found in supermarkets which is exceptionally higher. By comparison, a teaspoon of kosher salt contains 1,120 milligrams of sodium, which is no way equivalent to the 2,400 table salt you will find in your local supermarkets.

Supermarkets around the world are now investing in the kosher industry (Manischewitz). As in 2008, Jewish sales reached $12.5 billion, increasing to 64%. This may be because the food taste is stable or consistent. A recent survey shows that 62% of people are asking for kosher foods for quality reasons. Of those, 51% are investing in 'general health'. Even less is religious reasons.

Joe Regenstein, a professor of food science at Cornell University, specializes in kosher foods. He points out that their limitations, restrictions, and provisions involve potential health benefits. Certification of these products and scrutiny in accordance with the procedure create a consumer-friendly environment. Companies such as the Orthodox Union pay these food companies for human resource and personnel to develop and ensure the quality of the foods in the factory. Monitoring is very important. As a result, Jewish foods often lack behind competitors. But when the shechting is done right, the meat feels more organic. Even after the inspection, workers are careful to confirm that all blood has been drained. In fact, because the animals have been thoroughly examined and investigated, bacterial leakage and proliferation are less likely to occur in Jewish facilities.

Although the current diet may not be nutritionally robust, people with allergies will avoid getting sick. And diet laws may offer some pretty good advice for vegetarians. For there is no obligation to consume meat. In fact, it could be argued that refraining from meat products might be more kosher! 

Do kosher diets protects animals?

According to the Torah, animals have the same rights as humans. In fact, the Torah offers the right to rest not only for humans but also for animals.[2] There is a mitzvah of shiluakh haKan[3], which this is actually a good command. Although the young chicks die the mother bird is not allowed to witness their immature death.

The Talmud[4] states that sacrifices need to be made to secure animal rights. For example, you must first feed your pet before yourself. It is Jewish law, and now also a virtue to do so. In fact, the Midrash teaches that Moshe was chosen by G-d for his huge considerations for animals.[5] Animals are not just property. The Gemara reads that Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi suffered because he ruled that animals should be killed as according to Rabbinic law. His ailments ceased when he became compassionate to animals.[6]

In the Eruvin 100bm the rabbis teach that if we never received the Torah, we would learn it from nature. From cats, ants, and pigeons. It was Noah who sent a dove to fly to a find a branch to sit once the ark weighed anchor, after the flood. Yet there is no special blessing over-consumption of meat? This is because we never intended to consume meat. The harmful effects of meat products have caused the majority of Jews to be driven out of the dinner tables. It is now proven that pork (white meat) contains allergens that harm the body.[7]

Originally G-d intended us to be vegetarians but after the flood, we began to consume meat. However, in the days of the messiah, we shall again return to vegetarianism.[8] And although we have permission to eat meat we are not obligated. See (Deuteronomy 12:20).

“The dietary laws are intended to teach us compassion and lead us gently to vegetarianism," said Efrat's Rabbi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.[9] Halakha requires the consumption of meat even in Jewish holidays but only in a historical context. But there is no more temple.[10] Gemara (Pesahim 71a; Baba Batra 60b) claims that pleasure was not fully dependent upon the consumption of meat.

The medieval Jewish legal authorities insisted that there is no longer any obligation to eat during the high holidays. Some Rishonim even claim that during the days even when the temple stood, there was no need to eat meat.[11] True, there are some poskim who disagree, as to be expected, but there is more obligation to refrain from the consumption of meat.

Thus, a kosher diet fits all trends. And the word "kosher" means fit. So if you want to be fit eat kosher. Did I market that right?

[1] This is from an insect.

[2] See Exodus 20:10, Leviticus 22:28, and Deuteronomy 22:10.

[3] Deuteronomy 22:6-7. Also see Rambam's commentary where he says there is no distinction between a mother human or animal in Moreh Nevukhim 3:48.

[4]  Berakhot 40a.

[5] The Rambam also showed consideration for animals. Also, Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook recommends vegetarianism.

[6] Gemara, Baba Metsia 85a and Baba Metsia 32 surpass any rabbinic law in preventing animal suffering. Also see Rama, Yoreh Deah 60:1 and Iggrot Moshe, Even HaEzer 4:92.

[7] I reject the modern consensus which lay claim that Jew only avoided pork because of custom reason. I point to sanitary reasons and Oral law.

[8] See Genesis 1:29 and Gemara (Sanhedrin 59b). See Rav Yehudah. 

[9] Jewish Week (New York, August 14, 1987), p. 21.

[10] See Gemara (Pesahim 109a).

[11] See Bet Yosef and Magen Avraham.


Con
I agree with everything presented except for one correction:

"We can add that the ancient rabbis around 70 CE when the temple was destroyed also felt that sacrifices were unnecessary. Therefore when the temple was destroyed, they did not seek a way to continue sacrifices."

I'm curious as to how this could have been done. The Torah is very clear that one stop will be acceptable to sacrifices, and it's not your backyard. With the Mikdash, how could Jews offer sacrifice? The only exception to this rule was Eliyahu on Mount Carmel.