Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Can I look at the ingredient statement of a food to determine if it is kosher?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

What's the significance to the prohibition against consuming blood?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Mitzvot » Prohibitions | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

Every Mitzvah is comprised of a body and soul. The body is the physical act which we are commanded to do, or which we are instructed to avoid. The soul is the lesson the mitzvah imparts, its message which we must implement in our lives.1

The prohibition against consuming blood, as well as the process of its removal, teaches a powerful lesson pertaining to our approach to our relationship with the world.

We are not always fortunate enough to contend with the divine, or even with “humanity”-on a daily basis we also have to deal with the “animalistic,” completely non-spiritual aspects of regular life. Consumption of animal flesh is a metaphor for these moments of the day.

Salt never decays, it remains eternally fresh; much as our relationship with G-d never expires or even becomes slightly stale
Blood represents warmth, life and passion. The Torah enjoins us to remove all the blood from our worldly activities; to be involved in the world, to partake of its flesh, but without excessive enthusiasm or excitement.

How, you ask, is this possible? Through salt. Blood is removed from meat via a thorough salting process.

The Torah describes the covenant between G-d and His nation as a “salt covenant”.2 The commentators explain that salt never decays, it remains eternally fresh; much as our relationship with G-d never expires or even becomes slightly stale.

Interestingly, the symbol of our relationship with G-d is a food item which is independently inedible-its primary purpose is to add wonderful taste to practically all other foods. Similarly, our relationship with G-d is not an end within itself, rather it is meant to give a spiritual “flavor” and meaning to all other aspects of our life.

We have to liberally sprinkle salt on every part of our life-on our workplace, on our dinner table, on our gym, and even on our vacation destinations. When our love for G-d and our desire to serve Him with every fiber of our being is our leading motivation, then all we do is for Him. We eat and exercise so that we have the strength to serve Him; we work to have the means to serve Him, etc.

Footnotes

  • 1. This is also why the Torah is eternal, although there are many mitzvot which are non-applicable today—such as the mitzvot associated with the Temple service. Only the bodies of these mitzvot are (temporarily) defunct, the soul of every mitzvah is eternal and ever-meaningful.
  • 2. Leviticus 2:13.

ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Kosher » Miscellaneous

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.