Andrew McDonald in his letter (July 10) makes some very good points in tackling Andy Barr with his humanist viewpoint.
I did note, however, his categorisation of God’s Law into what he terms “the three-fold division of the Old Testament law into its moral, ceremonial and civil aspects,” which he claims is “why we can eat pork and shellfish”.
The word ‘Law’ is an unfortunate term that most English translations use when describing the Hebrew word ‘Torah.’
‘Law’ is often viewed as something negative and dismissive, whereas the word ‘Torah’ means ‘teaching’ with all its positive aspects, and is linked to the Hebrew word ‘Morah’ meaning ‘teacher.’
If God has laid down ‘teaching’ in the Bible for mankind, surely it is a good thing?
God with His advice concerning unclean animals is lovingly supplying information for the benefit of mankind health-wise. He is not some kind of ‘cosmic spoilsport’ just making up rules to ruin our enjoyment.
If there are ‘ceremonial’ rules, then these would have applied to worship in the Temple, like the various sacrifices etc.
These are impossible to implement today with no actual Temple, so even the Jews are prevented from carrying out that aspect of the Law any more, but telling us not to eat unclean meat is not ‘ceremonial’ (as pigs and shellfish were never used in ‘ceremony’) but rather it is commonsense and wisdom given by the Creator of these animals that any creature that scavenges and eats waste matter such as sewage and faeces in its natural habitat is not good for human consumption.
Many people think that God wants only Jews to avoid these animals, but why would He allow others to ostensibly become sick on such a diet, if He hasn’t changed the physicality of these creatures, and why should He favour one people group and protect them by this advice and exclude the Church?
The advice was for all mankind as we read that Noah, who was not a Jew and lived before the Mosaic Covenant, also knew about clean and unclean animals. (He boarded unclean animals unfit for food in twos and clean animals fit for food in sevens.)
There has been talk of farmers expanding their pig production in the province.
The question is, should we be eating pork at all?
Colin Nevin. Kosher Chef, King Solomon Restaurant, Hilton Tel-Aviv, Israel 1991-2002