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Foods Adam was permitted to eat


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

26 Cheshvan 5763
Rashi tells us that Adam Harishon was not allowed to eat meat. Was the issur only for animals that need Shcheita? Was Adam allowed to eat fish? Since Fowl (Chicken etc. are really not meat and only can’t be eaten with milk midrabanan was chicken permitted to bea eaten? How could Adam, Hevel and Noach bring korbanos if killing animals was not allowed?
The verses in Bereishit (1, 29- 30) read: “And G-d said I have given you all the seed-bearing grasses on the face of the earth and every tree with fruit bearing seed, it shall be for you to eat. And for all the animals of the earth…”. The talmud (Sanhedrin 59b) derives from these verses that both Man and the animals may eat food from the vegetable kingdom but Man may not eat animals. The continuation of the talmudic discussion explicitly mentions that fish and fowl (including chickens) were included in the prohibition. The tosafot (Sanhedrin 56b) are of the opinion that the prohibition was to kill an animal and eat it; Man was permitted to eat an animal found dead. Not all of the Rishonim share this opinion (see, for example, Yad Rama on Sanhedrin). It was permitted to kill an animal for the purpose of a korban [=sacrifice], even if part of that korban was to be eaten (Margaliyot HaYam Sanhedrin 59b,18). There is an opinion in the talmud (Zevahim 116a) that all sacrifices until those of Yaakov (Ramban Bereishit 46,1) were burnt offerings [=”olot”] that were not eaten.
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