Monday, May 2, 2016

The Prohibition of Eating Blood

Why is the prohibition of eating blood so severe that it causes G-d to ''make Himself free'' from all his affairs, and deal with the guilty person?  And why does Rashi not address this obvious question?

Rashi did not need to explain why the prohibition of eating blood is so severe, because the Torah states the reason explicitly: ''Because the soul of [every creature's] body [depends on its] blood''.

Furthermore, the reader will remember that, after the Flood, G-d told Noach: ''Every moving thing that lives shall be yours to eat.  Like the green vegetation [which was all that man could eat before] I have [now] given you everything'' [Noach 9:3].  Rashi [ibid] comments:  ''I did not permit Adam, the first man, to eat meat, but only vegetation.  But, for you, like the green vegetation which I allowed Adam [before], I have [now] given you everything''.

Why did G-d forbid Adam to eat meat and then permit it to Noach?

Rashi did not explain this matter as he held it to be self-evident.  G-d forbade Adam to take the soul from a living creature merely for the sake of eating it.  But after the Flood, there was a weakening of the physical makeup of man requiring the additional nutritional value of meat, and therefore G-d permitted man to eat meat.

Nevertheless, even after G-d permitted man to eat meat, He imposed certain restrictions.  To non-Jews He prohibited eating meat which had been detached from a living animal [Noach 9:4] and to Jews he also prohibited the consumption of the animal's blood.  For while a dispensation had been granted to eat meat, it was nevertheless not absolute.  So, while it became necessary [for nutritional reasons] to allow man to eat the flesh of the animal, it remained prohibited to eat its blood, which contains the very life and soul of an animal.

Based on Sichos Shabbos Parshas Acharei 5746 - Lubavitcher Rebbe


Anonymous said...

But fish blood is allowed, is it not? Not saying that anyone would want it of course.

Devorah said...

Fish blood is kosher. [Talmud, Kritut 20b; Code of Jewish Law, ibid., 66:1 This is derived in Kritut 21b from the fact that fish need not be slaughtered.] Nevertheless, it is forbidden to drink fish blood if it is removed from the fish, because others may confuse it with animal blood. However, if there are scales in the blood, it is permissible, as it is clearly not animal blood. [Code of Jewish Law, ibid., 9.]

Anonymous said...

Thanks Devorah.

Neshama said...

Love those lambies!

Anonymous said...

The one thing that is and should be an abomination to any human being is, of course, the most UNKOSHER of everything, which is 'blood' and yet because of the insanity of hatred of anti-semites who actually made up 'blood libels' centuries ago against the Jews by accusing us of baking, of all things, matzohs with the blood of a non-Jewish child, G-D forbid. If this absurdity wasn't so tragic, it would be beyond laughable and off the wall.

Anonymous said...

Blood from animals may have been permitted for medical use. There is a halacha, that one is familiar with at the seder when dipping a vegetable in salt water, that food dipped in liquids, which in the times of the Talmud or according to some, still applies, requires one to wash without a bracha. The foods have the initials of yad shachat dam, namely yayin (wine), devash (bee's honey),shemen (olive oil),chalav (milk),tal (dew),dam (blood),mayim (water).