Do not eat non-kosher fowl

The Literal Commandment

These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, and the kite and the falcon in its kind, every raven in its kind, and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:13-19)

 

The literal commandment is that we are not to eat birds (flying animals) that are forbidden in this list.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Some have asked about Mark 7:19. Messiah was speaking of ritual impurity resulting from eating bread with unwashed hands. We recommend this detailed study of that passage if you have additional questions.

 

Pictures of Messiah

G-d created the heaven, the earth, the sea and everything that is in them. (Psalm 146:6) He did so with an intended structure and order. Part of that intended order was that certain birds were created for food and other birds were not. This was recognized from the beginning even as early as Noah's time. He recognized the difference between clean and unclean animals (Genesis 7:2-9).

In a similar manner, there is a certain individual in G-d's order who would save the world from sin: the Messiah Yeshua. There is no other person intended for that purpose. Attempting to find salvation in anyone (or anything) else is akin to eating a bird not intended for food or intending to marry your sister: G-d says 'no'.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

We know that Messiah did not sin (Hebrews 4:15) and so we know Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not eating non-kosher (unsuitable) birds.

 

Traditional Observance

Traditional observance of this commandment is found in its literal sense: not eating non-kosher (unsuitable) animals. The signs that indicate which animals are kosher or not are found in Leviticus 21 and Deuteronomy 14. There are numerous additional and highly detailed stringencies and preparatory steps traditional Judaism has added to the process of determining whether or not bird flesh is suitable for consumption.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and should not eat non-kosher birds.

 

This does not mean, however, that non-Jewish believers are required to take on all the traditional Jewish stringencies of this commandment.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 181
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 5
  • Mishneh Torah Book Holiness
  • Mishneh Torah Category 26- Forbidden Foods
  • Reference Leviticus 11:13
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 11
  • Verse 13
  • English These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard,
  • Hebrew יג וְאֶת-אֵלֶּה תְּשַׁקְּצוּ מִן-הָעוֹף, לֹא יֵאָכְלוּ שֶׁקֶץ הֵם: אֶת-הַנֶּשֶׁר, וְאֶת-הַפֶּרֶס, וְאֵת, הָעָזְנִיָּה.
  • Greek 13 Καὶ ταῦτα βδελύξεσθε ἀπὸ τῶν πετεινῶν, καὶ οὐ βρωθήσεται, βδέλυγμά ἐστιν· τὸν ἀετὸν καὶ τὸν γρύπα καὶ τὸν ἁλιαίετον
  • Parashah 26- Shemini
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 157
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against eating non-kosher species of fowl
  • Category Food
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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