Nenebene
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hi I was wondering if anyone could help me with this essay question which I'm really struggling with, especially on why mitzvot aren't equally important and the negative aspects of food laws. Thank you!
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ArdenBoshier
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Mitzvot form the covenant between Jewish people and G?d--but their specific purposes are to do with leading a good life as a Jewish person. Some of these aren't important because they can no longer be fulfilled (for example, many mizvot refer to the ways in which G?d should be worshipped and to the way this happened in the Second Temple, which was destroyed so these can no longer be followed), and some are less important than others because they are less directly related to ideas of tikkun olam (repairing the world), chesed (lovingkindness), justice and charity.

Some Jewish people might argue that social activism is tikkun olam, and therefore more important than keeping kashrut (kosher), since kosher is about keeping the body pure for G?d and is arguably less important to the covenant. I hope this makes sense? Others might argue that since dietary laws have been a mainstay of Jewish culture for so long, they're important to uphold regardless of their theological importance because there is also a concept of being recognised as visibly Jewish, and particularly in more recent years, the idea of Jewish culture may take precedence over Jewish theology (though, of course, they're intertwined).

The Noachide laws (Laws of Noah) could be considered more important because they're part of an older covenant than the covenant of Moses, and are considered fundamental to the whole of humanity rather than just Jewish people. The constant mitzvot are the basic fundamentals of Judaism: there is a G?d, Don't believe in other powers, G?d is one, Love G?d, Fear G?d, don't be misled. These are often considered the most important mitzvot.

The idea of pikuach nefesh maintains that almost any mitzvot may be broken for the purposes of preserving life. Some laws might also be broken to preserve dignity and avoid disruption.

There is also the idea that mitzvot, whilst split into positive and negative actions, are all positive, even if only one out of 613 were to be followed: ie, even if one were unable to follow all dietary laws, that is less important than trying to follow some at all.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'negative aspects'? Mizvot are separated into positive and negative actions--ie things you actively do and things you actively avoid. Things avoided in kashrut include: mixing milk and meat ("thou shalt not cook a kid (goat) in its mother's milk"), not eating animals which do not chew the cud or do not have cloven hooves, not eating birds which aren't usually eaten, not eating fish without scales and fins, not eating reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, not eating blood, not eating injured animals and not eating animals which have been incorrectly slaughtered. These are 'negative mitzvot' because they are prohibitions rather than orders. I'm not sure if that's what you (or rather, the essay question) mean, though?

In terms of kashrut laws which could have negative impacts, I don't know. Pikuach nefesh permits breaking them in order to save a life (e.g. eating pork to avoid starvation), which avoids a lot of potential issues.

I hope some of these ideas may have been useful! Good luck!
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Nenebene
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(Original post by ArdenBoshier)
Mitzvot form the covenant between Jewish people and G?d--but their specific purposes are to do with leading a good life as a Jewish person. Some of these aren't important because they can no longer be fulfilled (for example, many mizvot refer to the ways in which G?d should be worshipped and to the way this happened in the Second Temple, which was destroyed so these can no longer be followed), and some are less important than others because they are less directly related to ideas of tikkun olam (repairing the world), chesed (lovingkindness), justice and charity.

Some Jewish people might argue that social activism is tikkun olam, and therefore more important than keeping kashrut (kosher), since kosher is about keeping the body pure for G?d and is arguably less important to the covenant. I hope this makes sense? Others might argue that since dietary laws have been a mainstay of Jewish culture for so long, they're important to uphold regardless of their theological importance because there is also a concept of being recognised as visibly Jewish, and particularly in more recent years, the idea of Jewish culture may take precedence over Jewish theology (though, of course, they're intertwined).

The Noachide laws (Laws of Noah) could be considered more important because they're part of an older covenant than the covenant of Moses, and are considered fundamental to the whole of humanity rather than just Jewish people. The constant mitzvot are the basic fundamentals of Judaism: there is a G?d, Don't believe in other powers, G?d is one, Love G?d, Fear G?d, don't be misled. These are often considered the most important mitzvot.

The idea of pikuach nefesh maintains that almost any mitzvot may be broken for the purposes of preserving life. Some laws might also be broken to preserve dignity and avoid disruption.

There is also the idea that mitzvot, whilst split into positive and negative actions, are all positive, even if only one out of 613 were to be followed: ie, even if one were unable to follow all dietary laws, that is less important than trying to follow some at all.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'negative aspects'? Mizvot are separated into positive and negative actions--ie things you actively do and things you actively avoid. Things avoided in kashrut include: mixing milk and meat ("thou shalt not cook a kid (goat) in its mother's milk"), not eating animals which do not chew the cud or do not have cloven hooves, not eating birds which aren't usually eaten, not eating fish without scales and fins, not eating reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, not eating blood, not eating injured animals and not eating animals which have been incorrectly slaughtered. These are 'negative mitzvot' because they are prohibitions rather than orders. I'm not sure if that's what you (or rather, the essay question) mean, though?

In terms of kashrut laws which could have negative impacts, I don't know. Pikuach nefesh permits breaking them in order to save a life (e.g. eating pork to avoid starvation), which avoids a lot of potential issues.

I hope some of these ideas may have been useful! Good luck!
Thank you so much! that really helps me- by 'negative aspects' i meant to say the negative implications that can come out of food laws like perhaps divisions within the community as some feel they are 'more holy' than others since they obey them and the competing ideas in the multifaith world, or also how this could lead to perhaps antisemitism, sorry for being unclear!
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ArtmisKco
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Basic interpretation- they eat animals that are kosher by chewing the cud and having double hooves or something like that. If you want a more detailed view the guy above wrote some impressive stuff. If it’s for gcse you don’t need to know that much
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