Why Jews Shouldn’t Eat Pork

Leviticus 11, verse 7 forbids consuming pork because “though it has a split hoof completely divided, [the pig] does not chew the cud.”  Kosher dietary rules (“kashrut”) prohibit eating meat from animals that don’t meat meet two criteria: 1) the animals’ hooves must be completely divided or “cloven” and 2) the animals must chew their own cud.  Unfortunately for Jews who keep kosher, the pig–like the far less delicious rock badger, which is deemed off limits in Leviticus 11:5–does not chew its own cud. 

While Leviticus 11:7 is the biggie, other kosher rules also seek to prevent Jews’ enjoyment of barbecue.  Notably, the requirement to remove the blood of the animal before eating it (either by draining it or broiling it out) could pose some problems.  On the other hand, slow-cooking over coals for 10+ hours might be as good as broiling, at least in our opinion.  We certainly know you’d be unwise to broil a hog.  Finally, the kosher prohibition of mixing meat and dairy would be problematic for those who like their ‘que served with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese.

As for us, at the risk of revealing that we occasionally indulge in some treif food, we tend to think that strictly following thousands of years old dietary laws is a wee bit silly.  But we are thankful that our ancestors never tasted rock badger.

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17 Responses

  1. Altho I am assuming this has been written in a humorous vein, I don’t find it amusing at all – I am not an observant Jew and stopped eating pork after seeing pictures in the News and Observer of the filth in which pigs are raised – it should be enough to turn anyone’s stomach.

  2. It should be patently evident that the foremost reason for the food prohibitions was to train Israel how to avoif food-borne illnesses.

    I mean, the idea of wild pig roasted over a Sinai campfire only gives me chills. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinella_spiralis for just _one_ of the issues with undercooked meat in the days before microscopes, Lister and Pasteur…

    These rules were to be kept, like the Passover and the other festivals, to remind Israel about The God Who Provides… Not some “angry old man on a cloud”who doesn’t like descendants of Abraham enjoying BLTs, Chinese Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Bacon Chili Cheeseburgers, etc….

    In fact, more than half of the food regulations (like not eating animals that died on their own, not eating rodents, and as you pointed out, rock badgers) is still good advice. Especially if you’re just starting out learning to cook outdoors…

  3. Good points, setnaffa, thanks for your comments.

  4. You should be ashamed! A blog is a place “out there” to allow us to find people to criticize. This one in an invitation. Pork- stay away from it. Leave it to us goi!

  5. Dear fellow pig lovers,
    I really respect what yall are doing here. But in saying that you really need to reevaluate Stephensons in Willow Springs. I am a Johnston County redneck and fellow bbq afficianodo(sic…hey i said i’m from Johnston county) but Stephensons defines bbq and is the standard by which all others are judged. Anyway keep up the semi good work. Remember barbecue is a noun not a verb.

    thank
    Evangelical Chris
    ps check out pete jones bbq in Ayden NC

  6. What a gas! I found this site accidentally while looking for some ideas to convert an LP smoker to Nat’l gas. Who needs pork? Have you ever slow smoked a corned beef brisket? Today I’m smoking some Heb. Nat’l Knockwurst to nibble during the Phillies game. Vegetables are outstanding smoked. There is a lot more to smoke & BBQ than pork. Art Chern

  7. Everyone should eat the pig. It’s the most delicious of animals. Cows (especially veal) are a close 2nd.

  8. What’s next, camels ? how about llama ? Art C.

  9. What we’ve gone through in the last many years is responsible for a lot of people to question ‘Can we trust Microsoft?’
    Stock values are actually quoted in fractions for 2 centuries, with different system descended from Spanish bits of eight. Each dollar was cut into eight bits worth 12.5 cents each.

  10. time to delete this non-site. got a message today & saw I was 2 of the last 4 replies, & that was last July. I’ll just keep on smoking veggies, fish, & beef. Smoked salmon is killer, my smoked corned beef is always a hit at St. Paddy party- Zai Gezunt, y’all. Art Chern

  11. Welcome to the goy way of life :)) !

  12. Do yourself a favor and Google – Why I should’t eat pork and decide for yourself whether you still feel like having some. You are what you eat. Should the children (princes and princesses of the Creator of the universe defile themselves or should they be set apart and obedient? Just a thought:)

  13. Ask yourselves why they don’t put pork in pet food. You never get pork flavoured pet food. The only animals that like pork are themselves when they eat their young – cannibalism and they eat snakes like spaghetti and having no sweat glands – their bodies don’t get rid of the toxins – God never makes mistakes.

  14. Elbe, I guess we’ll need to agree to disagree on this one. I believe in a kind, merciful God that put pigs on this earth to be slow-cooked over hardwood coals. Plus, you say God never makes mistakes but He allowed gas and electric cookers to proliferate–maybe that’s the 11th plague?

  15. “Why pork was proscribed by Hebraic law is still unclear, and some scholars believe that the Torah merely suggested not eating pork at certain restaurants.” Woody Allen (from his early, funny stuff)
    Thanks for the interesting conversation, I just accidentally happened on it while googling something entirely different and finishing off a ham and cheese on leftover passover matzoh.
    Nice to hear there are heebies forming more communites down in G-d’s Country, its been a long time since I’ve been to NC, but I definitely appreciate NC’s particular takes on the finer points of life…music, BBQ, craft beer, and skiing (a/k/a extreme downhill iceskating). I’ll have to stop by again soon.

  16. Thanks for your note, well said!

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