Rabbi Z Aviner



Topics in Genesis -6/

But Flesh with its Soul, its Blood, Don’t  Eat




Class given to  Noahides


What is the Torah’s position against  killing animals for food?

What is her stance on vegetarianis?


The prohibition of the children of Noah is stated in the verse


Every moving creature that is alive to you will be eaten

As a vegetable of the field, I have given you all


But flesh in his soul, his blood, you will not eat




The first verse permits animals to be killed for eating

The second verse forbids eating animal organs and animal blood


What is an organ?

Can contain bone and flesh and blood. For example, a leg. But an organ can be internal flesh without bones like tongue, liver, kidney.  They are forbidden if taken from the animal while it is still alive.  An organ is a functional unit in the body


Blood – This is blood in the bloodstream, on which the soul depends, that is, life.    It’s not blood hidden inside organs like the liver.



It was said to the Israelites


The commandment was also spoken to Israel in Deuteronomy

Every mitzvah that was given to Noah and repeated by Moses to Israel, is applicable to both Nohides and Israel

It carries  two seals on it – that of Moses and of Noah

The whole world listens to Moses, but Moses tells the children of Noah to listen   to their father as well


Question: If the purpose of the prohibition is to teach a person compassion and to stay away from cruelty, why does the Torah permit the killing of the animals at all? The two verses seem to contradict each other

And why was blood banned? Is it out of a battle on sorcery, as people think?


In order to understand the matter, one must look at the context of these verses within the book of Genesis





A passage revolving around bloodshed Third Mitzvah 


The commandment was said to Noah after the flood. It is within the entire section of the Torah dedicated to bloodshed from the first murder of Cain and Abel to  Tubal Cain and his murderous gangs in Noah’s generation.  We painted the entire section red to show that it revolves entirely around bloodshed, the third commandment of Adam


Before that, comes the story of Eden which revolves around ADULTERY, Adam’s second commandment

And before that, comes chapter 1 which revolves around  IDOLATRY,  the first commandment of Adam



In other words, as soon as man came to earth from the Garden of Eden, the first sin they committed was bloodshed—when Cain killed Abel. Since then, humanity has been divided into two camps according to religion, one worshiping ELKM and the other worshiping the Merciful YHVH.   They also sinned with  idolatry and  ADULTERY, but the sin that brought upon them the flood was the terrible BLOODSHED committed by the two camps fighting each other .


After the flood, Noah refused to start civilization anew for fear that his sons would repeat the mistake of the past, and bloodshed would return.  No matter the religion or philosophy of society, there will always be a split in humanity and the camps will fight each other. To the death  Noah concluded that the true reason behind the war and BLOODSHED is the BLOODTHIRSTY  human heart. If so, why should he bring children to the world ?


And when he came out of the ark, he and his family went to Mount Moriah, where the first murder had taken place.

Noah recognized the stones of  Cain and Abel altar and re-erected it , and brough on  the first elevation offering ever. It takes your thoughts straight to Heavens without saying a ward.


And as he stood there before the Creator he was adamant —I will not have children unless the heavenly court assures me that there will be two changes

A change  in the human heart  so that it would be less BLOODTHIRSTY

And a change in the heart of the Heavenly court – so that it would show us  will  – less judgment and more compassion



Then he had a revelation where he saw  the Heavenly Court in all its full beauty.  It appeared to him as two symmetrical wings, of YHVH and of ELKM, each of the   answering  Noah from its special viwpoint


 YHVH  says

Speak to your heart, the heart is in your hand and not the other way around

The evil drive  of Mankind human for  bloodshed is only in his youth. Man will mature and the drive  will change throughout history



 ELKM then  introduces  new Laws   of bloodshed unknown before ,

Laws of BLOODSHEHD between Man and Animals

Laws of BLOODSHED between  Man and Man


Noah’s seventh commandment appears in ELKM’s words about human-animal relations, and it’s all a novelty, the Talmud says


First line – ELKM permits Noah’s Sons  to take the life of animals  for its flesh.  death for her flesh.

That means, that  until that point mankind was forbidden to kill animals for their  flesh


Indeed, at the end of chapter 1 of Genesis,  ELKM  forbids Adam  to eat meat


“And ELKM  said, Behold, I have given you all the grass that sows seed, which is on the whole earth

And all the tree in which the fruit of a seed sows a seed for you will be eaten”


And there Rashi says

He did not allow Adam  to kill a creature and eat its flesh

Only every herb vegetable will all be eaten together. (Animals and Man)

And when Noah’s Sons  came, he allowed them eating meat.


In other words, humanity has been vegetarian for generations from Adam to Noah, yet it has slipped into bloodshed between man to man. Vegetarianism did not stop wars and killing

Therefore, after the flood, ELKM allowed the human to kill animals and eat their flesh, as a concession.


Just as after the sin of the Golden Calf, where the Almighty recognized their fault and allowed sacrifices to be brought


 ELKM says to Noah – you have asked for less judgment, so indeed I allow you to put end life f animal and eat its flesh, and I will not be particular about it as before. c

In nature, animals eat and eat.  -for ELKM’s judgment. Eat and be eaten.

But as for you, I will not  e particular   and will not demand the blood of the animal from your hand


But on the other hand, there is a new ban on eating animal organs and animal blood taken from an animal as long as it is alive.


This new prohibition   is against cruelty and the suffering of the animal while it is alive.

Clearly it is a demand of YHVH.


You’ve asked for more grace in the world, hence in order to receive it you must maintain grace and avoid cruelty.  SO SAID ELKM

If you have to put her life to death for her flesh, do so with a minimum of suffering and pain


Jewish slaughter guarantees this

And the kosher meat in salt ensures that the blood in the meat comes out as much as possible








Says Rav Kook in the article Vegetarianism and Peace


Vegetarianism is an ideal state of man as told to  Adam  as soon as they appeared on earth


Vegetarianism also comes from to the natural morality and compassion of Man which naturally despises BLOODSHED



This natural feeling came to Adam in the Garden of  Eden  when they opened their eyes and saw that they were naked, that is, they acquired the perception ioof YHVH

This perception followed then to Earth

Therefore, every human carries a resentment for BLODSHED deeply in or souls,


emotion was brought to Israel and it is found in every person as if it were natural morality.


Against this natural sentiment there is an opposing  natural sentiment that pushes Adam to commit BLOODSEHD  – that Adam has inherited from the animal world in nature


It drives Adam to commit bloodshed in order to live in ELKM’s world.

That sentiment would also drive us to commit BLOODSEHD between Man and Man




When humanity has fallen, and slipped into BLOODSHED and wars, the rabbi says, there is no point in vegetarianism.


It is ridiculous to care about animals while spilling human blood all over the world


Therefore, ELKM consented to them and allowed an animal to be killed and to eat its flesh, until man  rises on his  own to re-gain th spiritual status of Adam.


When   there would be no wars and peace would prevail in the land. then Vegetarianism would make sense.


Note that at the end of chapter one it is written that God forbade animal flesh, and immediately afterwards God feared all that He had done, and it was very good. Vegetarianism is a necessary step towards the Shabbat to come