Observant followers of Judaism, listen up: Your time of reckoning is near — your time of reckoning with a plate full of bacon, that is. A new interpretation of Leviticus by a religious scholar may upend years of forsaking pork products.
The verse, found in Chapter 11 of Leviticus, clearly states: “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.” But Professor Robert Gnuse, a religious scholar Loyola University in New Orleans, believes that these specific parts of Leviticus that ban eating certain foods or wearing certain fabrics were meant only to apply to priests, not regular everyday religious worshippers.
He argues that at the end of the Jewish era of Babylonian captivity, these laws — which were once specifically only applied to priests — became encouraged as the law for all Jews so as to keep them together as a community, according to Hareetz.
This gave them “the enthusiastic self-perception that they were all priests in the new Temple of God, the world. Of course, it also implies that if Jews are the priests, then the new lay people must be the Gentiles.”
The question of “Can we eat bacon now?” may still be up in the air, but for many, the decision comes down to — as always — personal preference.