In my previous post I described the evolution of Judaism over the past 3000 years. In a nutshell- after the destruction of the second temple and jewish exile in 126 AD, the jews lost their ability to practice their religion- which was national and temple based. Finding themselves without nation or temple- the jews reformed their religion- practically re-inventing it in a text compiled in Babylon under the exile- called the Talmud.

The talmud's stated purpose it to make sense of the bible. Supposedly it is god's handbook to understanding the bible, which is pretty vague. It raises and deliberates all the laws of the bible, plus additional laws it claims to be godly, though not mentioned in the bible- with the intent of legislating jewish law.

However, it does fault greatly in over-legislation, leading in effect to an absurdly different religion.

It should be noted that religious jews firmly believe that there actually was no reformation, and that moses actually received the Talmud, along with the bible at mount Sinai.

There are many examples of the vast differences between the biblical Judaism and the one practiced by jews today, and here's one:

Exodus chapter 23 -  19 states: "Thou shalt not cook a lamb in its mother's milk."

Sounds pretty straight forward. Don't kill a lamb, and cook it in it's mother's milk. The Talmud deliberates on this point, and expounds on it, by first stating that the injunction  includes not only the direct mother- but all milk producing mothers, and that the goat is not just a goat, but rather also cows, and even chickens- who don't produce milk…

Then it goes on to say that while the verse says "cook", it actually means any and all contact between meat and milk. So in effect, a chicken, which does not produce milk, cannot be eaten with a piece of cheese on it- even though the two were not cooked together.

This brings the Talmud to state that if the two cannot even touch each other, then surely they cannot be consumed in the same meal, let alone be placed both on the same table.

This leads to a demand for a complete separation in the kitchen- requiring two sinks- one milk, one meat, two sets of plates and cooking utensils and some even buy two refrigerators.

To further make sure that there is no contact between the two, the Talmud mandates 7 hours to pass between consuming meat and milk.

Interesting to note that while chickens are considered "meat", fish, for some reason- are not. Walk into any orthodox jewish home and you'll find a kitchen with two sinks, two sets of utensils, and complete separation between milk and meat. Meals are classified as "either-or", when a "milk" meal usually includes fish…

And they derive all this from "don't cook a lamb in its mother's milk…"

To further state just how far the Talmud has moved away from the bible in its effort to interpret it, Genesis 18, 8 describes 3 men who come to visit Abraham, the father of the jewish nation. He greets them with food:

"And he took bread, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat."

Milk and meat, served by the first jew…

How do jews reconcile this? By claiming that the bible is an incomprehensible text, and that the true wishes of god are written not in the bible, but in the Talmud.


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Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 6, 2011 at 9:26pm
Wow, very insightful again.  I can just picture old rabbis sitting around for hours getting ever more obsessive/compulsive in their deliberations of how to best ensure/guarantee/confirm that the laws are held to the ultimate/superlative/highest standard, ha ha ha.  Wow.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 7, 2011 at 12:53am
Those people obviously had way too much food at a time when it was regularly scarce.
Comment by Raven on May 7, 2011 at 2:09am
Very interesting. I was told that kosher laws originated because Jews wanted to keep their traditions intact so them came up with annoying rules so no one else would want to eat with them XD


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