Jewish people can eat bacon, says a scholar who is re-examining the book of Leviticus.
Professor Robert Gnuse, who teaches at Loyola University’s religious studies department, believes that the dietary rules presented in Leviticus weren’t meant for all followers of Judaism. The verse, found in chapter 11 of Leviticus, states:
“And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.”
Many Jews have followed this dietary law for thousands of years, believing they were forbidden from eating pork.
But in a recent article in Haaretz, an Israeli media outlet, Gnuse speculated that the rules specific to food and clothing in Leviticus were meant for priests, not followers. He believes that sometime during the Babylonian exile, someone told the Jewish people to follow all of the rules in Leviticus to bring them closer together as a community.
Gnuse’s theory differs from many traditional scholars. Professor James Watt, who teaches religion at Syracuse University, told Haaretz that the rules found in Leviticus were meant for everyone.
And so the debate continues.
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