It’s pretty common question to ask; do jewish eat pork? Well, the direct answer is no, jewish people do not eat pork. There are various reasons for this which need to be explained.
The Torah (which is the 5 books of the Mosses that covers all the religious Jewish teachings) states that there are 2 physical signs that mark an animal as land kosher. These are;
1) the ones that chew their own cud
2) the ones that have complete split hooves.
The pig is an animal that have split hooves but does not chew its own cud, hence it is unclean. Jewish people symbolize pigs as the ultimate sign of loathing.
They have certain rules regarding pigs that might not make sense to someone who isn’t familiar with the Jewish culture. Some of these rules are :
1) Avoiding the uttering of its name: Many Jewish people refer to pigs as ‘davar acher’ which stands for ‘another thing’. They prefer saying this instead of saying out ‘pig’ aloud. This is a practice that has been in place since the Talmud times.
2) Preventing the raising of pigs: As per the sages, raising of pigs is prohibited or else the one who raises a pig is bound to be cursed. This is so because pigs cause severe and frequent damage. The Talmud had announced this rule when there was a civil war going on in between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus (known as the Hasmonean brothers).
3) Martyrdom should be preferred rather than eating pork : Antiochus IV, the Syrian-Greek-emperor, during his campaign to outlaw Judaism, sent across his soldiers to Israel so that the Jews would be forced to offer pigs as a sign of sacrifice to the Hellenistic gods and then the same meat would need to be consumed. A 90 year old Jew refused to follow the order and even got beaten up, even though he was given the option to act as if he was consuming the meat. Eventually Matityahu revolted and the country was finally freed from the Hellens.
Aside from religious reasons, there are some more practical reasons whilst pigs have got a bad reputation as animals. These reasons include;
a) It is a carrier of diseases: Pigs are the main reason for 9 kinds of plague all across the world. These diseases can be easily transferred from a pig to a human. There are some viruses and flus that are the caused by pigs.
b) Pigs spread filth: Pigs have a tendency eat very dirty revolting things and they also wallow about in muck. So Jews believe that consumption of pigs is like inviting filth right inside the homes.
c) They symbolize hypocrisy: Pigs are half kosher. Midrash have derived a comparison in between the pigs and the Roman empire. Just like Romans acted as if they wanted justice but actually they were hiding there signs of corruption behind a fake mask, similarly pigs stick out there hooves while they are resting.
In today’s date, pig is considered to symbolize a bad phase of life. However over a period of time, as per the Moshiach era, the world would be purified and would become at an elevated spiritual level. Then there would be a point of time when the pig meat would be allowed for consumption amongst the Jews.