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Vegan and Religion

Veganism: Return to the Garden of Eden – Interview with Rabbi Akiva Gersh (vegan), Part 2 of 2

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“Rashi, lived a thousand years ago in France. His commentary on the Torah, and the Talmud is like the main commentary. And in a few different places, he writes that: ‘We don't need meat to live.’ When the Israelites complained to God for meat in the desert, when they had the Manna, that was a horrible sin, and they didn't need to ask for meat because they had the miraculous Manna, which came from Heaven to them every single day. And he (Rashi) says very clearly: ‘A person doesn't need meat to live.’ And in the Torah itself, the Israelis were punished for asking for meat. God got very upset at them for asking for meat.”

“Rabbi Kook, he talks about in the future, the return to a vegan world. And when he talks about the future, it's really linked to the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic age from a Jewish perspective – [it] is really hyper-God consciousness all around the world. And we see this talked about in the prophets, and we see this talked about in many Jewish teachings, that everybody will know of God and knowledge of God will spread throughout the world, like the waters cover the Earth. And so if we're talking about such hyper-God consciousness, can we see raising animals still, the way that we do? Can we see even, killing an animal for a few moments of feeding myself.”

“And it'll be almost like a, bond, like a real kind of brotherly bond between us and the animal kingdom. And if that's what the future will be like, murdering animals doesn't seem to quite fit into that messianic model.”

“So, I think the main reason and it kind of splits into two, is the ancient Jewish value of ‘Tikkun Olam,’ which means fixing the world. If you look at Jewish teachings from the past thousands of years, the one major teaching that really shows up throughout and really kind of strings and weaves everything together is this idea that we are here to fix the world.”

“There's a deep connection between what we eat and peace in the world. If we eat peacefully, we will act more peacefully and we will create a world more peacefully.”
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