Parashat Acharei Mot
In this week’s Torah portion we learn of an important commandment. This commandment is that neither the children of Israel nor the gentile who lives among them should consume blood. Most of Yeshua’s followers are very familiar with Lev. 17:11 which says, “For the soul (life) of the flesh is the blood, I have given it for you upon the altar to atone for you souls; for it is the blood that will atone for your soul.” It is for this reason that G-d forbids the consuming of blood. In the New Covenant Paul says that believers must also abstain from consuming blood (Acts 15:20). Although many pagans drink blood as part of their ungodly rituals, we are taught in this week’s Torah portion that in the blood is the soul / life of the creature and this is the reason which G-d forbids His people to consume it.
Most believers ignore this commandment entirely and eat meat which has not been killed properly or have not had the blood removed from it. Jewish law, in order to fulfill this commandment, requires that animals be killed in a manner which is painless for the animal and which will have the blood drained from the carcass. After the killing and the letting of blood Jewish law also requires that salt be applied to the meat. This salting will draw out any blood which is left in the meat. Then the meat is washed and only then is one able to cook it. If one cooks the meat prior to these procedures blood is trapped in the flesh and one will be eating blood and therefore violating a clear biblical commandment.
It is for this reason that one should eat meat which is prepared properly. You should know that meat producers which do not follow Jewish law are very cruel to the animals. This cruelty is not only in the killing process, but how many of the animals are raised. Today if you buy meat which is not Kosher the animals almost always have been given drugs which has sped up the growing process and have caused the animal to weigh more. Why? Time is money and the more pounds the more profits. Believers need to take seriously this commandment and if one chooses to consume meat, buy Kosher meat.
There is a connection between this commandment and Passover. We are told that when the children of Israel kept the Passover that they applied the blood to the doorposts and the lintel. This shows that they drained the blood from the animal. We are also told that the Passover lamb had to be roasted. The Hebrew word translated “roasted” means on a skewer over fire. This type of cooking causes any blood which is left in the carcass to come out during the cooking process.
Since the blood contains the soul of the animal, eating meat that contains blood will mean that one is eating the very soul of the creature. The Torah is warning that this act will have a negative effect on a person. If one checks the animals which G-d allows a person to eat they will find that these animals do not eat other animals, i.e. blood; but rather these animals are all herbivores. The animals which are carnivores tend to be much more violent and aggressive and G-d does not permit His people to eat them.
Pray and ask the L-rd if He wants you to support a meat industry that is barbaric in the treatment of animals that G-d has given man the dominion over (responsibility). Pray about Paul’s commandment that he received from G-d, not to eat blood. Finally be open to change in your life that reflects the word of G-d. Just because you have never thought about these things before, does not mean that they are not important to G-d. I believe these things will affect your spiritual wellbeing and even impact how you feel physically.
Shabbat Shalom and Have a great Passover.
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