Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Is Bacon Kosher?

Almost everyone knows that bacon is forbidden under kosher laws, but a rogue group of rabbinic scholars is challenging this assumption, according to a recent article in Haaretz.

Dr. Robert Gnuse, a professor in the Religious Studies Department at Loyola University, argues that the kosher and clothing rules found in the Book of Leviticus (where the prohibition on pork is first mentioned) were originally meant exclusively for the priestly cast, the Kohanim. It was only much later, after the destruction of the first Jewish temple during the Babylonian exile, that these laws were expanded to apply to the general Jewish public, Gnuse posits.

Even while in exile, these stringent rules would imbue the Jewish people with “the enthusiastic self-perception that they were all priests in the new Temple of God, the world,” Gnuse adds. “Of course, it also implies that if Jews are the priests, then the new lay people must be the Gentiles.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.