Old Testament Summary Lesson 45: “If I Perish, I Perish”
- Biblical Word of Wisdom: The Lord gave the Children of Israel a law of health. It could be called a “Word of Wisdom.” The Jews call it the correct, proper or fit way of living, the Kashrut, or being kosher. The word kosher is also used as meaning correct. In this modern age, there are some Jews who will not eat meat because there are no sacrifices and the meat cannot be prepared in the correct way. Others will only eat meat that is kosher, that is, slaughtered in the way sacrifices were done and only eating the parts of the animal as prescribed in the Law of Moses. It may be very enlightening to know the modern explanation of Kashrut, so it is included the full lesson supplement.
- Martyrs Observing Dietary Laws: “During . . . the Greek rule of Erez Israel (second century B.C.E.) many Jews chose to die rather than eat the unclean foods which the Greeks forced upon them. In peril of their lives, Jews carried out the laws of ritual slaughter during the Crusades. The Marranos of the Inquisition, the Cantonists of Czarist Russia, and the inmates of Nazi concentration camps all remained steadfastly faithful to the laws of Kashrut, despite all threats.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Daniel Shows Humble Dedication: His unswerving obedience to the “Word of Wisdom” is an example for many people today who are committed to keeping their health code. “Although it is traditionally believed that the Book of Daniel was written by Daniel himself, there are theories which ascribe the authorship of the book to four different authors, in an attempt to explain the wide span of years which the text covers. The majority of the book is written in Aramaic, which was the accepted language among the Jews during that era.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Purim, One of Happiest Festivities in Jewish Life: “Purim, one of the minor festivals in the Jewish calendar, commemorating the deliverance of the Jews of the Persian empire from extermination, some time during the fifth century B.C.E. The story of Purim is told in the biblical Book of Esther. Haman, chief minister of the Persian King Ahasuerus, plotted to destroy all the Jews of the empire . . . Esther, the King’s Jewish wife . . . courageously interceded . . . as a result the king authorized the Jews of his realm to defend themselves from attack on the appointed day. They succeeded . . . the following day the Jews celebrated their victory, calling the day Purim . . . ever since that day has been marked with festivities and rejoicing. In addition, in memory of the three-day fast undertaken by Queen Esther in preparation for her intercession with the king, the day before – Adar 13th – is observed as a fast day.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)