Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dietary Laws

I found this article from last week's New York Times fascinating: It's Passover, Lighten Up. I've long pooh-poohed dietary laws as archaic, as health rules that may have been necessary to prevent disease in the past, as quirky misinterpretations of holy texts written in ancient languages, what have you. Raised Catholic, for many years I made sure to avoid meat on Fridays during Lent. I think Neal made Swedish meatballs last Friday, which I devoured AND enjoyed, without guilt. I can't imagine a life spent without tasting pork, or shellfish - no bacon? No shrimp?'s too horrible to contemplate!

It's interesting to see how the word "chometz," which means sharp, or sour--as in fermented, like sourdough bread--has been taken lo these many years to mean leavening in general.

I sorta understand the want/need to emulate a group of people to celebrate a holiday of religious significance, as those who celebrate Passover do. Jesus may well have not eaten meat on Fridays too, but I have a feeling that he didn't eat on most days.

I'm not even going to get into the whole dry religion/Welch's grape juice at communion when Jesus turned water into wine thing, although that gives me a good chuckle.