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September 10, 1982 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-09-10

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20 Friday, September 10, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Vegetarian Way of Life Is Trumpeted in New Volume

By SIDNEY JACOBS

(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

(Editor's note: Rabbi
Sidney Jacobs is a na-

tional board member of etarianism" by Richard H.
(Exposition
the Society for Animals Schwartz
Press), could not have been
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Contributions of Israel's military technology
The prospects for Lebanon and Israel

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Just as the animal rights
movement is growing in
prestige and influence, so
are vegetarians increasing
in numbers by the millions.
"Judaism and Veg-
etarianism" presents out-
standing arguments: ethi-
cal, ecological, concern for
right of animals, life-
prolonging — all from an
authentic Jewish founda-
tion.
Jews should give special
heed. Addicted to red meats
and high fats; susceptible to
arteriosclerosis, high blood
pressure, and a variety of
other cardiovascular dis-
eases; prone to elevated
triglyceride counts and
skyrocketing cholesterol
readings, Jews should think
seriously — very seriously
— about the debilitating
and often terminal effects of
the "traditional" Jewish
diet.
Seventh-day Adven-
tists, on the other hand,
live about seven years
longer than the rest of the
U.S. population accord-
ing to the Census Bureau
and other studies, most
likely because they reject
smoking and alcohol ---
and follow a vegetarian
regimen.
Dr. Richard H. Schwartz,
a member of the College of
Staten Island facility of the
City University of New
York, restates the patholog-
ical effects of meat con-
sumption. He points out
that Nachmanides attrib-
uted the longevity of many
of the early personalities in
Genesis to their adherence
to the prohibition against
meat-eating in the pre-
Flood era.

He argues for a return to
the dietary law of Genesis
1:29: "God said, 'See, I give
you every seed-bearing
fruit; they shall be yours for
food.' "
So, too, Genesis 1:30 and
9:3 and Deuteronomy 8:7-10
and 12:20.
In essence, what Dr.
Schwartz is writing about is
that we need not wait for a
Messianic era to realize that
"the lion, like the ox, shall
eat straw" (Isaiah 11:7). It
may take the "footsteps of
the Messiah" for this to
happen with wildlife; but
.human beings can hasten
the coming by changing
their eating styles right
now.
The book contains an
interesting allusion to a
work in Hebrew by the
late Abraham Isaac ha-
Kohen Kook (1865-1935),
first Ashkenazic Chief
Rabbi of pre-state Israel
who believed that "in the
future ideal state . . .
people and animals will
not eat flesh. No one shall
hurt or destroy another
living creature. People's
lives will not be sup-
ported at the expense of
the lives of animals."
Just as the highly-
revered Rabbi Kook was ar-
ticulating the traditional
Jewish concept of tsa'ar
bah-ah-lay chayyim, con-
cern over suffering and pain
caused to animals, Dr.
Schwartz's "Judaism and

Vegetarianism" is an ad-
mirable contribution to an
all-too-sparse literature on
this theme. Make no mis-
take about it: the animals
we slaughter to eat do suf-
fer!
Dealing with Judaism,
vegetarianism, and peace,

Schwartz observes that "the
Hebrew word for war,
milhama, is directly derived
from the word lokham,
which means both 'to feed'
as well as 'to wage war.' The
Hebrew word for bread,
lekhem , comes from the
(Continued on Page 21)

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