Health, Nutrition & Torah: Acharei Mot

| April 21, 2010

The Text:

17:13-14  And if any Israelite who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.  For the life of all flesh – its blood is its life.  Therefore I say to the Israelite people:  You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood.  Anyone who partakes of it shall be cut off.

The Context:

In this parasha, God commands the Israelites regarding, among other things, the importance of bringing slaughtered animals to the Holy Temple as offerings.  God also forbids the consumption of blood, which God views as an offense against life itself.

What it Means for Advocates:

What does this emphasis on blood – that which is most internal – tell us about the importance of intention and action over appearances (the “external”)?  What does it suggest in terms of our relationship with people around the world, regardless of our external differences?

We are told to pour the blood of a slaughtered animal on the ground and to cover it with dirt.  How is this an exercise in both respect and sustainability?  What is the value, both morally and materially, of reinvesting our natural resources?

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