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Clean and Unclean Animals

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

11 Tammuz 5763
Question
Rabbi when the person asked what the difference was in clean and unclean I do not think he meant what is kosher and what is not. Is it not the reason that the difference in what is clean an unclean is what is clean (kosher) is truly what is healthy and good for us. If we look into the animals forbidden we can see that even though Hashem did not give a reason why we could eat something or not eat something, with the knowledge of today we can say because we were called to be a Holy people and those animals can carry and pass to us sickness. Hashem promised that we would be healthier and not get the illnesses of the other peoples if we listened to Him which included abstaining from foods that were not good for the human body to consume. I thought the reason the animals are forbidden is because they can make us ill or kill us. Is that not correct?
Answer
That is not correct. It is forbidden to eat non-kosher foods even when they are clearly safe or even beneficial. The Torah is the law that guides the life of a G-dly People, not a Red Cross manual. It is however forbidden for someone to endanger himself even when the behavior is not otherwise specifically prohibited.
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