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abomination
Posted: 24 February 2013 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Sorry, I meant why isn’t dirty used instead of unclean and is unclean then a euphemism? It has less heft in English, anyway, and it’s not as though unclean animals are sensitive to such nuances and would object.

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Posted: 24 February 2013 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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It would be hard to consider a word as straightforward as “unclean” to be a euphemism.

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Posted: 24 February 2013 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The word translated as “unclean” in Leviticus is tameh (accent on the second syllable) and it doesn’t mean “dirty” in any hygienic or aesthetic sense, but “ritually impure” (e.g. meat from an animal not ritually slaughtered, which could be just as healthy, and as tasty, as meat from a slaughter properly carried out). Hygiene and kashrut have nothing to do with each other (I recall at least one case where a very kosher restaurant in Jerusalem was shut down by a municipal health inspector). Jews observe Hebrew dietary laws because these are perceived as divine commandments. As such, they don’t have to be rational by human standards.

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Posted: 24 February 2013 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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As such, they don’t have to be rational by human standards.

Thank you Lionello! That’s the issue. My rabbi friends tell me that they obey these dietary laws, not because they make sense but because they are commanded and because they belong to the one who commands.

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Posted: 26 February 2013 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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This reminds me of that old ethical conundrum: Is murder wrong because God says it is, or is it wrong anyway?

Also, I’ve long been puzzled by how Christians came to abandon dietary and animal sacrifice laws but stuck with another abomination loosely involving the unnamed wife of Lot. As far as I know none of these are mentioned in the New Testament so on whose authority were they discarded or otherwise?

Impure is another negative (semantically) word with Abrahamic connotations. Many people remember Jimmy Carter admitting to “impure thoughts” about women other than his wife.

[ Edited: 26 February 2013 05:33 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 26 February 2013 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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venomousbede - 26 February 2013 05:29 AM

Also, I’ve long been puzzled by how Christians came to abandon dietary and animal sacrifice laws

I think it is generally agreed that that question is answered in Acts, chapters 10 and 11.  Peter has a vision which is interpreted to mean that the dietary laws are not necessary and he is to take the Gospel to the gentiles.

(Edit: added summary)

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Posted: 01 March 2013 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I didn’t know God told Peter he’d changed his mind. It would have made the new dispensation more appealing though what with gentiles having previously had no dietary restrictions. But why did the Jews, like the Christians, also abandon the animal sacrifice laws, and when?

This Christian writer finds sound reasons for the dietary laws which are within human reason and understanding but nonetheless divine and benevolent commandments in his view.

I still maintain that contemporary English-speakers are going to think unclean means dirty until a better translation of the word is found.

[ Edited: 01 March 2013 09:16 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 01 March 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Once again venomousbede has started a thread about religious words and then pushed it into the discussion of religious doctrine and practices.

I don’t buy the “he can’t help it” argument; he just doesn’t want to stop.

Please don’t encourage him by responding. DNFTT.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Couldn’t agree more. DNFTT

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Posted: 02 March 2013 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Impure is another negative (semantically) word with Abrahamic connotations. Many people remember Jimmy Carter admitting to “impure thoughts” about women other than his wife.

Psychiatrist (to patient): Are you troubled by impure thoughts?

Patient: No, doctor --- as a matter of fact, I rather enjoy them.

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