It may seem like YAH’s commands about what to eat are pretty basic: obviously no bacon, catfish, clams, squirrel, etc. However, some do not grasp the depth of YHWH’s food instructions, and often so as to continue enjoying eating things they are not meant to eat. I am not saying they are consciously making the decision to sin, but rather that they are not well-instructed enough to know what they are doing, and are likely subconsciously ignoring instruction or forsaking researching more.
Here we will discuss some basic organisms that YAH has told us not to eat, which are things many Turah-keepers still eat, and some teach that we can eat.
People will try to claim this is a plant. It is not. Although we here at Scrips n’ Foil generally do not back the claims of secular “scientists”, it is pertinent to reference them here, as they do mix truth with lies. Scientists will tell you that seaweed is not a plant, but rather, a sort of colony of photosynthetic bacteria-like organisms. Now whatever details they go into with their esoteric language about each species, their mechanics, etc., is not as important as the fact that they are not plants. They do not act like plants, they do not grow in the same medium as plants, their “leaves” are not even always the same color as plants, for they are often orange, brown, or red always, and not just in the fall. They do not reproduce like plants (via seeds [Gen. 1:29]).
Now, let us look into Leviticus/Wayyiqra 11, where YAH elaborates on what organisms to eat, and what not to eat:
9) These you do eat of all that are in the waters: any one that has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas or in the rivers, that you do eat. 10) But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in rivers, and all that move in the waters or any living being which is in the waters, they are an abomination to you. (Lev/Way 11:9-10)
“Any living being” in Hebrew is: מכל נפש ההיה or Makal Nephesh haHayah which is literally:
מכל: from all
ההיה: the life-force/existence
so: “from all of” “the living/existing” “spirits/beings”.
There is no mention of things looking specifically like animals; simply all things which live and bear life. If it can die, it has a נפש “nephesh” which will breath its last, and then be blown away. That which cannot die has no nephesh, yet man only eats that with nephesh anyway.
Seaweed lives; it is a living being, and it is in the waters. This is undeniable. Plants live on the earth (ground), and these YHWH has given us an abundance to eat, from delicious fruits, hearty vegetables, and flavorful herbs and spices! We have such an abundance of terrestrial culinary treasures because YAH made us of the ground itself, and made us to dwell on this land. We are not made for the ocean, and so YHWH severely restricted our water-based diet. But to look upon the seas, rivers and ponds and be sorrowful for not being able to eat most of what is in there is not good in the eyes of YHWH, for we are lusting for that of the waters, when behind our backs is a plethora of food treasures on the dry land. When YHWH provides us with foods, and we are unhappy with it and want more than that, He does not look upon us with pity; He looks upon us as ungrateful, and the children of Yakub learned of this during the Exodus, when they sought more than the life-sustaining foodstuff which YAH dropped on them continually (Numbers/Bemidbar chapter 11).
Yes things like sushi are delicious, and many other delicious things contain seaweed. This does not mean we should eat them. Just because bacon smells good and tastes good does not mean we should eat it. This rule applies for all things YAH said not to eat.
Along with seaweed, this applies to corals and sponges, as they too are living beings in the waters. The same rules apply to all of these as do other things in the waters, including their dead carcasses. Albeit we are not likely to want to eat a coral or a sponge, we should not be using their bodies for everyday things such as jewelry and cleaning objects (though we really should not wear any jewelry). But, just as one would be averse to eating a sponge or a coral, so should one be regarding seaweed.
Mushrooms are not food! Though the only instruction for this comes from Genesis 1:29, this does not mean it is not in the Turah, for Genesis is part of the Turah!
“See, I have given you every plant that yields seed on the face of the all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed, to you it is for food.” (Gen 1:29)
Now let us consider the nature of the mushroom.
1) No seeds, only spores. the spores of one parent mushroom burst out of the mushroom and mate with each other, creating new mushrooms. One of the characteristics about fungi that makes them different from plants is that they are incredibly infectious, with thousands of them having no problem all landing and growing in one spot, for they are in fact usually colonies. Plants, however generally have more struggle for competition in an environment.
2) No leaves. This is apparent, and does not warrant more elaboration
3) Mushrooms live off darkness, dampness, and other putrefying conditions, and for a very important reason: they live off of death! Other such things that thrive on death and decay are pigs, vultures, rats, catfish, shrimp, millepedes, pill bugs, worms, all of which are abominable things to eat. Death is a regrettable and unclean thing, and we who follow YHWH should avoid it as much as we can, and that includes not eating things whose primary food source is so close to long-dead matter. To eat the songbird that eats the worm that eats the death is one thing. But, to eat the worm that eats the death is too close to death. YAH’s people are not even to eat clean animals that were found dead already. As for mushrooms, such an organism whose job is to decompose dead things should be seen as something to avoid eating, for the being of the mushroom itself looks strange and alien.
As well, many mushrooms thrive on feces, and this is, too, an unclean matter: something that creatures such as pigs and dogs will sometimes eat.
4) Spot the Difference!
What is the difference between these two mushrooms? One is a tasty culinary mushroom; and one will kill you if you eat it, and generally you will not know you are sick to death until shortly before you will die. Mushrooms do not have a noticeable flavor variety. A grape compared to a mango compared to cucumber compared to a pumpkin—one would have to have sensory issues to not notice drastic differences in their flavors and textures. This is not so with mushrooms. Albeit some might have subtle differences, overall there is little difference in flavor or texture between most, surely not enough to make you spit one out and say “this is definitely a poisonous mushroom!”.
Not only are many mushrooms deadly, but others cause severe psychedelic/psychoactive reactions in people. These were used for various reasons, such as communicating with “spirits” (demons) and entering the spiritual plane, as well as invoking violent wrath within oneself, so as to go into battle slaughtering as many people as one could without inhibition (this was a practice of the Scandinavian vikings, who were pagan worshippers of war, and the glory of man in battle. A man was admired for how many people he could kill before being killed himself.)
Even though these things might be good-tasting, they are not things we are meant to eat, and it should be very easy to reject things we are not permitted to eat for the sake of following YHWH.
The next topic to come in the food subject will be animal misunderstandings. Until then, have a blessed day! Shalem!