The answer to the question, “Are cheeseburgers kosher?” is a resounding NO!…and a resounding YES!
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If you ask any “mainstream” Jewish person, their answer will be “No” because their rabbi has taught them that any mixture of dairy and meat consumed within a certain number of hours is a sin (the time between eating one and the other is different depending upon whether you are Sephardic or Ashkenazi Jew.)
If you ask a Christian, born again or not, they will tell you it is a sin but only for the Jews because Christians are under Grace and the need to obey the Mosaic Laws is done away with when you accept Jesus as your Messiah.
Lastly, if you ask me, I will tell you that it is not a sin to have a cheeseburger because all God told us in Leviticus 11 (and a few other places within the Torah) is that we are not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk.
There is nothing, at all, anywhere in the Torah that says you cannot have dairy and meat together: that is strictly a Talmudic requirement.
If you aren’t familiar with the Talmud, it is considered by many Jews, especially within the Orthodox sects, to be as important as the Torah. This is because the Talmud is called the “Oral Law”, which is the many other commandments God gave to Moses that were not written down, but instead passed orally from Moses to Joshua, and so forth down through the centuries until it was finally written down in the Mishna, composed circa 300 CE. Later, the Gemara was added around 500 CE. There are two separate Talmud’s, the Babylonian Talmud and the Palestinian, or Jerusalem Talmud. The Talmud contains Halacha, which means “The Walk” or “The Way to Walk”, which is how Jews are to worship and live their lives. Everything from how far you can walk on Shabbat, to what kinds of dishes to have, to how hot your dishwasher has to be, to what lights to leave on Friday before Shabbat, to what you can wear, to how to groom yourself, to …well, you get the idea.
So if Jews say cheeseburgers aren’t kosher, and Christians say kosher isn’t required for people who believe in Jesus, why do I, a Jew who believes in Jesus, say that cheeseburgers are kosher and the kosher laws are still required?
I’ll tell you why: because God never said don’t mix dairy and meat together in the same meal and Yeshua never said any of the Mosaic laws, which include the kosher laws, are no longer necessary when you follow him.
Let’s get this straight: I do not condone or even suggest that we should change God’s commandments because of the difference between how people lived then and how we live today, but rather that we should know how they lived then and account for how we live today to ensure we follow not just the letter, but the spirit of the law.
God was clear when he spoke through the Prophets that he wants obedience, but obedience from a desire to please him and not as a means of earning salvation.
In other words, just going through the motions (what we call Legalism) is not enough.
I say cheeseburgers are kosher because when we consider what the culture and society were like when God gave that command, we know that back then you most likely owned the cow that gave the milk and birthed the calf, so you knew which calf belonged to which cow and which cow gave what milk. Knowing who belonged to whom, you could easily avoid using the milk that came from that calf’s mother to cook that mother’s calf.
God only knows why he gave this specific commandment, but it seems obvious there is spiritual importance in what God said. To me, this clearly indicates some relationship with child sacrifice, and the hideousness of parents eating their own children, which is often brought up as the epitome of horror resulting from being under siege.
Maybe being “under siege” doesn’t have to relate only to being surrounded by an enemy, but to being surrounded by sin? Such as when we live in a sinful and fallen world?
So, back to cheeseburgers: the meat in the cheeseburger comes from the beef cattle industry and the milk comes from the dairy farm industry: these are two totally different animals (pardon the expression), and in dairy farming the cows aren’t killed until they are no longer able to produce milk. And that isn’t part of the beef industry.
Calves are born in both the beef and dairy industries, but they stay within that industry. To violate the kashrut (kosher) commandment regarding boiling the calf in its mother’s milk, you would have to buy milk from the grocery store that was from the same cow that gave birth to the veal you bought from the grocery store, then boil that veal in that milk.
The milk production from United States dairy farms is about 21 billion gallons a year, and the meat Americans eat is not mainly from America, but the top four producers of meat sold in America are Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Hong Kong. Considering these statistics, it seems pretty safe to say that there is no way in the world that anyone would ever be boiling a calf in its mother’s milk.
Unless you owned the cow and did it all on purpose.
So there you have it: if you want to live “rabbinically” kosher, obeying what men say which overrides what God said, then you will never eat any dairy with any meat product, ever. At least you won’t be sinning.
Or, you can ignore the kosher laws altogether, as Christians have been taught they can do, thereby always sinning: not just by violating the cow/milk/calf thing, but by pigging out on pig and having a shell of a time eating shellfish.
There is a third option: you could do as I do and be “biblically” kosher, eating what God said is OK to eat, and not eating what God said is not OK to eat.
This ministry is not here to tell you what you should do but to teach you what you need to know in order to make an informed decision, and now that you have been informed it is up to you to decide what you will do.
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That’s it for now, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!