- Religion and Philosophy
Karaite Comments: To My Brother Yeshua (Jesus) Part 10
As I mentioned in Part 9, I would use the scientific discoveries of today to focus on laws handed down over 3200 years ago. But first it is imperative that those of the Messianic or the Christian path understand exactly how your falling away from the Lord’s commandments occurred. To do so you have to appreciate that the first Christians were Jews and that they continued in their worship at the Temple and their obedience to Jewish Law. At the same time they were able to reconcile their following of Yeshua’s teachings by referring to him as the greatest of the prophets a point of difference between them and both Karaites and Rabbanites. But soon a division was to take place as the result of one man; a man that Jesus never even selected as one of his apostles. As described in Galatians II:7 the main body of Christians were circumcised Jews and that the Gospel of the circumcised was unto Peter. But there was another group rapidly developing and Paul wrote in the same Galatians II:7 that “The gospel of the uncircumcised was committed unto me.” A self appointed commission to the Gentiles that would ultimately be a slap in the face of God. Paul reveals that Peter came to Antioch where Paul had his base and under pressure Paul convinced him to eat with the Gentiles. But when a delegation came from Jerusalem to berate Peter for his abandonment of the commandments, he quickly separated himself from the Gentiles and then insisted that they should all “live as Jews do.” Paul was furious and he went after Peter with all the ferocity he could muster as revealed in Galatians II:11. Of course having a large threatening Gentile mob in your face could be enough to convince the weak and indecisive fisherman that he was backing the wrong horse. Paul then went to Jerusalem along with Barnabas and after similarly threatening the apostles and elders he not only convinced them that the dietary laws and circumcision were not required but as he states, “they no longer needed to keep the Law!” The only restriction was they abstain from eating meats offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled and from fornication.” But we have historical proof that the community that was originally Jewish never abandoned the original Torah laws and remained as a separate entity within Christianity. Though Paul was able to intimidate them into fearing his wrath of the Gentile mob, he could not sway them from the teachings of Jesus and his brother James. For those wishing to know more about these original Christians and their preservation of Jewish ways, I suggest you read about the Ebionites. They existed for another 400 years before they were hunted down and killed by the Church of Rome.
There Are No Coincidences
Now you might ask, “What provides me with the authority or knowledge to talk of such things as if I understand the intricacies of God’s commandments. Just what are my qualifications to make the following statements?” Fair enough, legitimate questions but of course I have legitimate answers as well. Firstly, let me say that I am doing exactly what my family has been instructed to do for the past three millennia, fulfilling the role of Kahana as intermediaries with the purpose of saving mankind even if it is only one human life at a time. Secondly, for those that may have wondered what I actually do (my everyday job so to speak) since whatever my role in life it’s obvious that it’s now taking me to China on a monthly basis, has me speaking internationally at biotechnological conferences, and sees me supporting scientific breakthroughs that eliminate suffering for thousands, perhaps even millions. So let me elaborate for you and then you can judge the veracity and credibility of the statements I will make subsequently. I am a veterinary trained preclinical toxicologist, a test development medical technologist and a biotechnological researcher. Yes, I have university degrees in each of those three areas of specialization. Big words but then it’s a big job. I am one of those men that each day faces the challenge of how do we find the cures and prove that they work against X, Y or Z. And as I mentioned, it is simply the extension of what we as the Kahana have done for a thousand years both in the Tabernacle and the Temples while they still stood. Of course then it was much simpler, as all we had to do in those days was make animal sacrifices on the altar and pray for cures and divine intercession. And we only had to face the Big Boss in the Holy of Holies for our performance review once a year. Now the job is a little more demanding since in the past my family prayed that God would intervene on behalf of the people but now the onus has become for us to provide the answers on our own. It is no mere coincidence that there are three family members involved in a similar line of scientific endeavor even though we were initially unaware of each other’s professional choices at the time. One might say it’s in our genes, and a more lengthy aspect of that particular discussion can be found at http://hubpages.com/hub/GLEEM but as you will see, it is highly likely that we are products of our past and we are all predestined to do what we do. So, having the benefit of several decades of medical and veterinary specialization has provided me with a perspective that Isaac ben Abraham of Troki did not possess. It enables me to examine the dietary laws and find a rationale behind their instruction. But what it really does is leave me in awe because I have to consider that three thousand years ago these laws were clearly established with an impossible precognizant foresight and knowledge of discoveries that we have only made over the last 150 years. And that too cannot be simply passed off as another coincidence. Remember, I’ve been telling you for a long time that there are no coincidences!
The Eating of Dead Things
Over a decade ago I wrote my thesis on the Apolipoprotein E pathway’s involvement in both CJD and Alzheimer’s. Without going into the details, I was looking at ways in which abnormal proteins were absorbed, transferred and reproduced in neurological tissues to the detriment of the host. The key appeared to be Apolipoprotein E and the production of Tau proteins. What does this have to do with dietary laws you might ask, well let me explain. One of the undiscovered routes I proposed was Vagal nerve (10th Cranial Nerve) transference; a conduit directly from the stomach to the central nervous system. It was one of the only ways to explain the rapid transposition of an ingested abnormal protein to the brain (neurocellular phagocytosis) resulting in diseases we refer to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. You would call one of these diseases Mad Cow. The story behind prion diseases is an exciting one. When Prusiner first proposed its existence he was laughed off the stage. Science refused to believe that abnormal proteins once ingested would cause a disease. Twenty years later it was a fact and more alarming would appear to be the reason that cattle had suddenly developed the disease because they were being fed rendered protein. Essentially herbivores were being turned into carnivores. Cattle were being fed byproducts that were remnants of dead animals. Let’s first think of the prohibition of contact and consumption of dead animals in Leviticus. If the animal is found dead, even if it was one of the approved animals for consumption, we would never be certain of what it had died from. Though not necessarily a prion disease, it was a forewarning that the byproducts of dead animals could still transfer disease, a finding that most certainly shocked the world in the 1980’s and still presents a major threat. Studies in a Wisconsin game park where there was an outbreak of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) in mule deer in 1972 turned out to be a prion disease as well. The fact that Wisconsin is a major dairy state should send off the alarm bells as you’ll read in the next paragraph. All the deer in the park were eradicated and the park was not repopulated until ten years later. The new population also succumbed to CWD which meant that the prions had been retained in the soil and were virtually indestructible; a fact which leads into my discussion over the next couple of paragraphs.
Weasels, Mink and Ermine
And there’s more when it comes to prions. A little known study in the 1970’s traced a higher incidence in dairy states of downer cows where there was also intensive mink farming. A neurological disorder in mink that was later identified as a Mink Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy would be running at high levels when these mass outbreaks of downer cows would occur. For those that aren’t familiar with downer cows, it’s a term used for cows with a calcium deficiency and they start stumbling and going down. Usually, a quick IV drip of Cal-Mag salts gets them back up on their feet. The difference with these cows was they weren’t getting back up and were then sent off to the rendering plants with no diagnosis other than Downer Cow made. Incidentally, as my thesis examined, the incidence of CJD or the human prion disease was higher in the dairy states. Therein lays the link because in some way this disease in Mink was eventually showing in humans and since mink, ermine and weasels (mustelids) are all in the same family we have a credible reason why God specifically mentioned not eating weasels. What took us until now to understand a little better scientifically was known 3000 years ago. All we did was corroborate it with our current scientific techniques.
Only If It Jumps
How strange that there would be a distinction of which insects could be eaten based on their having large jointed hind legs for the purpose of jumping. Why should this even make a difference you must wonder? It took me a long time to understand this prohibition and it wasn’t until my work with prions that I finally understood it. Jumping insects like grasshoppers and locusts aren’t burrowing into the ground. They consume live and dead plant tissues above ground but not the organisms or waste in the soil. Whereas those insects that creep and crawl on the ground are consuming dead organic tissue, especially from other animals. A matter of fact, the Torah insists that once we die we do not embalm our bodies so that we will be consumed by the myriad of creatures that creep and crawl. And if that is the case, then any disease causing entity that cannot be destroyed will in turn be preserved within the bodies of these creatures. Now you should be recognizing the threat that was exposed during the investigation of prions and the insects consuming dead organic material. They are a conduit to the preservation of the disease ensuring that there is a preservation of these abnormal proteins unto eternity. We’ve only known about this new category of disease causing entities for the past thirty years. God knew about it three thousand years ago. Incredible as it sounds it is the only logical conclusion.
The birds listed are known carrion eaters. Not only that, some of them are hunters and would therefore eat the small animals and other birds that were forbidden. I’ve already provided a warning of the threat that dead animals present in the transference of disease. But it’s not only prions but many other viruses, bacteria and parasitic cysts that will be provided a continuance through intermediate hosts.
It has only been over the last fifty years that medical research has demonstrated a close link between swine and humans. It is the major reason that the species is being suggested for xenotransplantation or in other words why science wants to use swine for replacement parts, such as hearts, skin, pancreatic cells, etc. The fact is that swine actually came off the evolutionary chain closer to humans than other species except for the primates. But being closer has its drawbacks which we have all come familiar with over the last year with the outbreak of Swine Flu. If we are close then we also share things in common such as parasites and worst of all viruses. Of major concern to transplant specialists are the REO and Retro viruses but there are far more diseases that can spread the fear of mass death within humanity. The transmission of disease between pigs and swine and back again is not a new thing. It would have been known long ago that pig farmers and those in close proximity to swine herds had a higher incidence of serious illness. Thereby through the forbidding of swine to be eaten the animals wouldn’t even be kept in the vicinity of the community as they’d serve no economic purpose. As a result the following would be avoided by their exclusion; Swine Flu, Swine Vesicular Disease, and Foot and Mouth virus; all of them serious diseases that theoretically could exterminate humanity. But let’s not forget the bacterial transmission of such diseases as brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, erysipelas, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, streptococcus, anthrax and colibacillosis. Swine are a threat to spread all of these and they can be as equally serious as the viruses. Then there are the parasitic diseases spread by swine such a trichinosis, sparganosis, taeniosis, scabies, cysticercosis, yersiniosis (Plague), tularaemia and balantidiasis. Probably the most serious, even though Plague was in that aforementioned list, is that pigs not only carry the tuberculosis of cattle and birds but they can also be the source for human tuberculosis and that has a greater precedence to exposure than the others.
Are you thinking twice about eating pork, well you should be? As consumed species go, swine is the one that has the greatest chance of causing severe illness through ingestion because not even cooking the meat well eliminates all of the listed organisms and quite a number on the list are deadly. Foot and Mouth has been found to survive pickling, salting and drying of meat. Even after eradication of swine herds, some of the viruses and parasites were found to survive the decontamination process living on inanimate objects. Bacterial such as leptospirosis were found to be surviving well in water barrels and bowls and sparganosis favourite means of transfer is through water where the cysts for this foot and a half tapeworm are deposited. From just these few organisms it should readily be seen why there was such concern with any water that came in contact with these prohibited carcasses and why even the bowls and utensils became a concern. Once again you must say ‘Wow’, how amazing that three thousand years ago God was able to forewarn Moses about these possibilities.
No Fins Or Scales
From the fish perspective that leaves us with either those fish that scavenge the bottoms such as catfish or those that are aggressive hunters such as eels to be avoided but it also eliminates the shellfish and mollusks from the menu. We should all know about paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) by now, there’s been enough press about it. But what you may not know is that there are at least twenty derivatives of the saxitoxin produced by the dinoflagellates that then accumulates in the shellfish such as mussels, clams and scallops. PSP is only one of these and the others can be just as dangerous. The toxins are heat stable which means that not even cooking destroys them, so how confident are you when you consume your next meal of shellfish? Does Red Lobster provide a medical plan? Tetramine poisoning is common when eating whelks (marine snails) as it exists in their salivary glands causing a wide variety of neurological signs when ingested by humans. Not to mention that these snails are both predators and scavengers which means they’re picking up whatever diseases their last meal might be carrying. But besides toxins there are many other dangers presented by shellfish. Dioctophymiasis is a parasite from crayfish and other crustaceans in which the nematode migrates to our kidneys and begins its destructive process. Removal of the kidney is the only treatment. If both kidneys are affected then there is a serious problem. Short of a transplant, you will die. The facts are that shellfish are bottom filter feeders, which means their exposure to bacteria is quite high and it should be no surprise that they are disseminators of microbial diseases. The fact that aquaculture farmers know their lobsters are susceptible to such diseases as shell disease, Gaffkemia, microbial epibiont disease, Lagenidium disease, Haliphthoros disease, and Fusarium disease does not provide us with any reassurance that these entities do not cause a disorder in humans if digested. We just don’t know enough about them yet. Back in July of 2008 the FDA released an advisory regarding tomalley, the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster that functions as the liver and pancreas. High levels of PSP toxins were present in lobster tomalley The FDA advisory applied only to tomalley, the government declaring the rest of the lobster meat was safe since high levels of PSP toxins were only present in the lobster tomalley and only insignificant levels in the remainder of the lobster. Perhaps one should define insignificant since we know that these toxins can accumulate and cooking no matter how long did not eliminate it. The symptoms of PSP included tingling and/or numbness of the mouth, face or neck; muscle weakness; headache; and nausea and in extreme cases large amounts of the toxin if consumed, could lead to respiratory failure and death. They warned that symptoms usually would occur within two hours of exposure to the toxin. Two hours before you press the panic button. And if that wasn’t enough to worry about the FDA warned that PSP toxins normally occur in clams and other shellfish. Often these symptoms will lead to respiratory failure and death. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention was their last bit of advice. Perhaps the advice should have been “think twice before eating shellfish.” The Torah warned you first and now the FDA is giving you their warning.
In regards to eels, there is still much we have to learn. In a report from the Protein Journal in 2008 the following was disclosed, “Although eels are well known to contain toxins in the serum, their chemical properties have remained to be clarified for a long time. In this study, a proteinaceous toxin was purified from the serum of Japanese eel Anguilla japonica and was lethal to both mice and crabs.” And in 1995 we find the following article which reveals that the researcher isolated and purified a lethal protein toxin from the Indian catfish Plotosus canius. The toxin was lethal in mice being both cardiotoxic, and having neuromuscular blocking activity. The toxin also produced cardiac arrest on isolated toad and guinea pig hearts. Prior administration of atropine and propanolol failed to counteract toxin activity on isolated heart preparations. Even antiserum raised against the toxin failed to antagonize its lethal activity in mice. And in a recent report from the University of Michigan a study there concluded that poisonous catfish are far more common than previously thought. The researcher Jeremy Wright warned of how catfish venoms poison nerves and break down red blood cells, producing severe pain, reduced blood flow, muscle spasms, and respiratory distress.
This article has merely emphasized the fact that three thousand years ago dietary laws were put in place for the preservation of mankind. There were issues that the people of that time period couldn’t even contemplate let alone understand. God asked that they trust Him. An act of faith that He knew what was best for humankind. And along came a heretic twelve hundred years later that challenged the Jerusalem Church. He told Peter he was a fool for following the commandments within the Torah when it came to the dietary laws. And then Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem and they stood down the elders in Jerusalem and managed to sway them to their opinion. A fact that it was not Yeshua who changed the dietary laws but a man named Paul. And ever since Christians have been acting contrary to the commandments of the Lord. Perhaps now the science of today and the teachings of a Karaite can help you reconsider that decision!