Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Spoiler alert: If you love eating Miss Piggy (in all her many forms) and can't bear to think of not eating shrimp and lobster, please do not read the following. It has the power to change your mind and perhaps you will change your diet.
Question of the Day: Hey Rabbi, since Peter had his vision, why do you still keep kosher according to the biblical standard?
Answer: Here is the summary dialogue from Acts 10.
Acts 10:13-15 "A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord! For never have I eaten anything unholy or unclean." Again a voice came to him, a second time: "What God has made clean, you must not consider unholy.""
Seems obvious to us. As of that moment Peter should be able to eat whatever he wants. Right? Not so fast. Peter had a VISION. What does the Bible say about his reaction at that time? Acts 10:17 "Now while Peter was puzzling about what the vision he had seen might mean ..." Why should we think we know what it means when Peter didn't?
Later, however; Peter does come to understand the vision. Acts 10:28b "Yet God has shown me that I should call no one (man or person) unholy or unclean." So the vision has nothing to do with eating and everything to do with whom you keep company. Just like the Lord to communicate through a vision that appears to mean one thing but the reality is something else.
There are plenty of other Scriptures that seem (on the surface) to indicate anything you can put in your mouth is acceptable as food. Let me make a few general comments here and we'll stop for today.
God clearly tells us (in no uncertain terms) what is food (Leviticus 11). God gave us physical bodies. In many ways the Bible is an owner's manual for living a long, happy, and healthy life. (Deuteronomy 4:40) Do you know better than God?
Ecologically speaking, God wants us to eat high on the food chain. Certain creatures were created by God to keep His land and ocean clean. They are scavengers and bottom dwellers. They eat garbage and when you eat them, you are eating what they eat. God clearly says to us, "Don't do it."
You may say, "But you don't understand Rabbi, we have refrigeration now." Really, that's how you want to explain yourself to God? Is this an envelope you really want tpush?
As my rabbi, Dan Juster tells me, "There's always room for repentance." Let's take every opportunity to be transformed by God's word into His image. Why not make this your opportunity to try God's diet?
With blessing. R. Michael.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,