The Dietary Laws

Kashrut is the body of law from the Bible which deals with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten.  “Kashrut” comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, which means fit, proper or correct.  We find these laws spelled out in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.  Many of the ways which these laws are carried out today have been taken from the Talmud. What I want to focus on here is what G-d actually says concerning what is kosher and what is not.

Kosher foods include:

Animals which have a hoof and is clovenfooted and chews cud.  If all those characteristics is not present, it is not kosher.  One example given is the camel, which chews cud but does not have a divided hoof.  It is not kosher.

Fish.  This includes which have fins and scales.  Therefore all sorts of shellfish, etc., are not kosher.

Fowl.  Birds are interesting, because the Torah lists those which are unclean but does not state why.  Therefore, birds which are not listed, such as chicken, geese, and ducks are permitted.

Grasshoppers and some types of locusts and beetles are all kosher, in case you want to eat them!

Fruits, vegetables and grains.  All of these are kosher, as long has they have been checked and are bug-free.


Here are a couple of notes:

Rabbis do not “bless” something to make it kosher.  Something is kosher or it’s not.

The kosher laws were not given for health reasons.  G-d states in Lev. 11:44:  “For I am the L-rd your G-d:  ye shall therefore sanctify yourselfs, and ye shall be holy; for I am Holy…” 

All of the other laws pertaining to kashrut are from sources outside of the Torah.  These include separate dishes for meat and dairy foods, the manner in which animals are slaughtered, the prohibition of mixing meat and dairy in the same meal, as well as laws pertaining to grapes/wine and non-Jews.


I Corinthians 6:19-20 states:  What?  know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of G-d and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify G-d in your body, and in your spirit, which are G-d’s.

Let’s pray about how we are to treat our bodies in order to glorify G-d and not abuse the temple of the Holy Spirit!







3 thoughts on “The Dietary Laws”

  1. I have noticed that in some Messianic Congregations they serve Meat and dairy together. They also break bread without washing their hands first.

    1. Both of these practices are not mandated in Scripture, so the Congregations are free to have their own tradition. I think it is important for us to know why we do or don’t do traditions. For example, some may feel that even though Scripture does not mandate the separation of meat and dairy, they may do so, so as to remove the barrier of contention with someone with whom they are wanting to share. It is important for us to not judge either way.

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