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Reason for herbivorous (vegetarian) animals being kosher?

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Nisan 24, 5776
Question
First of all, I am thankful to you for giving me, a Japanese,Christian pastor, chances to ask questions to you, busy rabbi. Now, I have learned that the reason the Kosher Law in Vayikra chap.11 prohibits Jewish People from eating the flesh of pigs is because the pig doesn’t regurgitate its cud even though the pig has a perfectly cloven hoof. My first question is," Are the animals of a cloven hoof those of herbivorous?" The second one is,"the pig, which is not herbivorous but is omnivorous, has the possibility of eating the blood of other animals and as a result,being unclean. Is this why the pig is not kosher?" Thank you very much.
Answer
Even if man can’t know the entire “reason” why God declared these two signs as kosher (split hooves + cud-chewing), nevertheless over the generations, many “benefits” have been seen and suggested as at least possibilities of the “partial intent” of most commandments, including these (please note the difference between the aforementioned stressed terms). All kosher animals are herbivorous, but not all herbivorous animals are kosher, which infers that yes, the Torah wants us to understand that eating animals isn’t the ideal, and vegetarianism, which was man’s original status until Noah’s Flood, has obvious moral advantages. Nevertheless, that’s clearly just part of the issue (additional points are mentioned in the kabbalistic traditions). Also, “unclean” is an inaccurate translation, and “death-oriented”, or even “impure”, or “unholy” are closer to the original Biblical concept. All the best!
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il