Project Genesis




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Jews as Vegetarians

Question: Wouldn’t it be better for us to be vegetarians?

Answer: Adam was in fact not permitted to eat meat (Gen. 1:30); but Noah and his descendants were given permission to eat animals after they are killed and their blood removed (Gen. 9:3-4). The Torah permits Jews to eat some types of animals and birds (the kosher ones), provided they are killed properly; kosher slaughter is a very painless process. As Maimonides (Hilchos Deos 3:1) puts it, “A person should abstain only from those things that the Torah prohibits; he should not forbid to himself things that are permitted”. Within the framework of the Torah, there are many ways to beautify and enhance our religious observances; we shouldn’t go so far as to avoid things that the Torah explicitly permits.

All the Best,
Rabbi Azriel Schreiber

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