How Did Jews Become The Chosen People?

Over a year and a half ago I changed my diet. I’ve not really spoken much about it and I’m not evangelical unless people notice and ask me. I don’t eat grains or soya and have cut dairy down (though I do still enjoy a nice piece of cheese).

I’m largely following something like the Paleo diet described in the following video but that’s not why I’m highlighting it here. The author interviewed in this video has a unique angle on how the development of ritual hygiene rules gave Jews in particular a strong advantage when people began settling in larger and larger urban groups. I’ve cued the video to start for this section, though you may want to wind back 15 mins to the start and watch the whole thing. It is fascinating.

In response to an audience question he later discusses Kosher laws and in particular he sets aside the more often thought of prohibitions on certain foods (shell fish and pork for example) and focuses on the much more important rules about eating on healthy animals that have been slaughtered deliberately. Eating animals you find already dead is very unhealthy. That begins at 34:30 with the question: “how did the Jews get it right?”

From The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health by John Durant

“[Mosaic Law] correctly identifies the main sources of infection as vermin, insects, corpses, bodily fluids, food (especially meat), sexual behaviors, sick people, and other contaminated people or things. It implies that the underlying source of infection is usually invisible and can spread by the slightest physical contact—while taking into account the different physical properties of solids, liquids, and gases; the passage of time; open and closed spaces; and different types of materials. And it prescribes effective methods of disinfection, such as hand washing, bathing, sterilization by fire, boiling, soap, quarantine, hair removal, and even nail care.”

“Impressively, the Mosaic Law treats infectious disease as a public health issue affecting the entire community. It enforces mandatory measures to prevent the spread of disease: clean water, toilets, food inspection, pest control, hygienic burial practices, STD awareness, circumcision, and codes of sexual conduct—as well as regular housecleaning, dishwashing, laundry, and bathing in preparation for the Sabbath and other holy days. “

Paleo Manifesto John Durant

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • asb

    עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותומכיה מאושר

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  • J L

    Ooooh! Nice job showing the Reason video. Ill be sure to link back to this article since a lot of libertarians are into paleo. Who knew all this about the indepth cleanliness standards and such. It just blew my mind. I knew to some extent that kashrut was connected to cleanliness and health, but I did not know the other purity laws were so directly and logically connected. And that the punishments for not complying were exactly what happens! And to think this was handed down over 3000 years ago. I do take some issue with his claim that this is from Zoroastrianism. There is no proof of that and these purity laws appear to be unique, whereas other laws and a few stories are similar to Zoroastrian and Babylonian stories.

  • Kat Smith

    This is a very interesting video. I will watch the entire video when I have time, plus purchase the book. Lack of hand washing has been proven for cross infections. I have also just read some articles on how a few countries are trying to pass a law to stop the feeding of antibiotics to cattle. After looking around the internet for updated cancer treatments/research this last week, one of the things that I did read was cancer thrives in an acidic environment. I know you didn’t post this article to promote the Paleo diet but I will read up on it. Keeping your body at the correct pH level is important.


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