If the porcine is טְרֵפָה then the fact that the bovine probably is too ought to count for something

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/02/26 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/02/26/1761579.aspx


(You can probably skip this post, which has nothing technical though it gets positively anal retentive about a technicality!) 

Over on Lifetime, a Grey's Anatomy re-run from the first season (Save Me) was on. In this episode, a Jewish patient does not want a porcine heart valve due to Kashruth concerns. Yet she is happy to hear that there is the option of a bovine valve, instead.

I have trouble with the painting of the issue here. Rabbinic law is pretty clear that the dietary laws are separate from what is allowed in medicine, but if one as a matter of personal choice does not want to go that way then that is fine. But what are the odds that someone would feel so strongly about this yet not have any concern about the fact that the cow whose valve is being used was almost certainly not killed in the proper ritual manner to be considered "Kosher" either?

I guess one could claim there are degrees here, that using a non-Kosher bit of cow is not as bad as a never-Kosher bit of pig. But if one is truly extending the law to past what even those who try to interpret that law would extend it, should it not happen consistently? Is there a market for properly "slain by a Shochet" cows for use in transplants?

It would have at least been worth a joke -- like Alex commenting among the other doctors away from the patient that the cow was probably treif anyway....

Ah well, this isn't the show for accurate medical depiction, why should it be the one for accurate religious depiction? :-)


# Tal on 1 Mar 2007 3:50 AM:

חזיר יותר משהינו חייה טמאה למאכל, נהיה סמל אנטי-יהודי, עקב השימוש בו לכפות יהודים להמיר את אמונתם.

http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/ezrachut/begin/neum32-2.htm

[...]

המותר לי, אדוני היושב-ראש, להזכיר כאן ניסיון אישי שלי? באתי פעם, כילד קטן, לבית-ספר גויי. וההתרחשות הראשונה באותו יום, שלא אשכחנה לעולם, היתה קשורה בניסיון של תלמידים אחרים להאכילני את הבשר הזה, או למרוח שפתותי בשומן שלו. הייתי ילד, והם היו רבים. ואני זוכר את המלחמה, את ההיאבקות, את כל מה שהתרחש באותו רגע בתוכי; את הניסיון למנוע את הדבר הזה; את הזעזוע הנפשי. בן עשר הייתי. ואני סובר שכל ילד, שעבר עליו ניסיון כזה, כמוני נהג.

[...]

תפילין ומזזות ניתן לכתוב על עור בהמה טהורה, גם אם היא לא נשחטה כדת.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Mar 2007 2:13 PM:

I agree with that last point -- in New York City there are orthodox jews who won't trust the marks from some shochets, as they believe them to not be righteous. So obviously if such a mark is completely faked that would be even worse!

I wonder if there ever would be a market for kosher animal parts for medicinal use?


referenced by

2008/05/03 The Matzoh and the Eucharist (for the gluten intolerant)

2007/09/22 A high holiday that goes to 11

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