Rabbi Dr. Yossi Feintuch was born in Afula and holds a Ph.D. in American history from Emory University in Atlanta. He taught American history at Ben-Gurion University.
Author of the book US Policy on Jerusalem.
He now serves as rabbi at the Jewish Center in central Oregon.
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When it comes to food God exclusively and quickly weighs in with the first humans on the sustenance of all creatures; all were positively assigned the seeded plant and fruit produce, and “the green plants” on earth (Genesis 1:29). God will soon repeat this staple regimen of human sustenance by telling the two earthlings: “from every fruit tree in the garden you shall surely eat” (2:16) -- save from the tree of knowledge -- and “you shall eat the plants of the field” (3:18).
Since as in the first account of creation (Genesis 1) the animals were created before humans, it is obvious that they sustained themselves only on plants because this is what God assigned them after addressing Adam on food. To be sure, God did address the animals calling on them to be “fruitful and multiply and fill the water… and … the earth”, but not about food. It is inconceivable that prior to the creation of humans the animals did eat the flesh of other species, just to be affirmatively forbidden to do so after the creation of the first humans. Both accounts of Creation confirm, then, the absolute plant-based diet of the human race and all other species with no strings attached.
God’s silence on meat, both for humans and animals, is as expressive as God’s positive designation of solely herbivorous food to both humans and animals; from what was prescribed they inferred what was proscribed. It meant, as Rashi has it, that God forbade both humans and animals to eat any flesh. Yossef Elbo, a 15th. Century Torah commentator, explains in The Book of Principles – Sefer ha-ikarim -- that eating flesh would require “the gratuitous shedding of blood” and “the teaching of bad traits” that would lead to the damaging of the soul.
Biologist Rob Dunn in ‘’Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians’’ writes: ‘’The majority of the food consumed by primates today--and every indication is for the last thirty million years--is vegetable, not animal. Plants are what our apey and even earlier ancestors ate; … the job of a generalist primate gut is primarily to eat pieces of plants… for tens of millions of years [the human] ordinary guts have tended to be filled with fruit, leaves. …If you want to return to your ancestral diet, the one our ancestors ate when most of the features of our guts were evolving, you might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts, fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves.’’ Science then confirms, what the Torah tells us, that the human species starts its dietary history as herbivorous, as it will be for ten generations -- an era that will bring the human race to its longest lifespan ever with Metuselah's 969 years (Genesis 5:27).
Albert Einstein avers likewise: ‘’Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.’’; And Sir David Attenborough in his powerful first-hand account of humanity's impact on nature A life on our planet (2020), supports humanity's atavistic diet as God had ordained observing: “We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters... If we had a mostly plant-based diet we could increase the yield of the land… Nature is our biggest ally.”
Yet the human gut was not created to be specialized, but accommodative to future changes; first it is Abel whose flocks produce dairy, and then comes permission, yet, not a commandment, to the post-deluge Noah to add meat to his diet. It heralds a gradual and perceptible pattern of a plummeting human lifespan.
God's inexplicable permission to Noah to eat meat is discussed here: Yossi Feintuch: Divine pragmatism; when God opts for the lesser of two evils - ייצור ידע (xn--7dbl2a.com)
מצאת טעות בכתבה? הבחנת בהפרה של זכויות יוצרים? נתקלת בדבר מה שאיננו ראוי? אנא, דווח לנו!