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Old 06-19-2006, 09:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Bezdomny's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Westwood, Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by cogy
i remember my rabbi saying jews avoided swine because it was infectious and everyone repeating this as sound reasoning. then later i read it had nothing to do with that; it was more of a binding cultural practice that helped unite people through rituals of co and omission, the meat of religion, if you will.

if you think about it, the pig isnt singled out so much in the ot, its only a well known example of kosher dietary law. a lot of other things are forbidden too, and while some of them happen to have health benefits, [as well as less discussed disadvantages], their purpose was religious and not medical.

and religion provides some basic laws for a functioning society as well as a stern penal system, but i think the religions that thrive today made it because they evolved into beliefs that had the best chances of being passed down and picked up by new adherents, not because they contained the best laws or even good laws / codes / dietary guidelines.

sort of the same way as an individual of a species may not be the most attractive, perfect specimen, but if it has a great advantage in producing viable offspring, its genes will be passed on.

as late as the 1920s in america, tapeworms were marketed, sold, and consumed by women as a dieting aid. the parasites were ingested,
then when the desired weight loss was achieved, the second part of the diet was a pill that killed the worms. more or less. thank god science invented bulimia.
uugh! I would personally feel far more disgusted by the thought of ingesting a tapeworm, than by my figure.... can't tapeworms end up in parts of the body other than the intestine? I think I've heard of a case in which one was growing in some woman's heart or something crazy like that...

Oh well.. on the other note...

I agree with you.

Jewish law is divided into the bein adam le Makom, and
bein adam le chavero... no category is set apart for people who are looking to stay healthy and parasite-free...

I think the pig might also be the most well known "no-no" of Kosher dietary laws because other societies that Jews have had to assimilate to might have consumed pigs regularly. Hindus are also urged not to eat certain rats--but most people just know that they don't eat any kind of beef. Nobody singles them out for "not eating rats like everyone else..."
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