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Is Christian Abstaining/Fasting "Vegan", or rather Kosher category "Pareve"?

Alveus Lacuna

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In Christian fasting/abstaining from certain foods, there is a rule of 'no meat', and yet shellfish and sometimes fish are permissible. The other day I was watching an episode of Soul Food on YouTube where they cover being Kosher in L.A.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qTatb6qHEM. At the 17:00 mark, they are showing the way that a kosher kitchen is laid out, and the comment is made that fish are not meat but 'pareve' or neutral, neither meat nor dairy, which interestingly are categories forbidden during Lent in Orthodox Christianity. Pareve foods are foods like fruits and vegetables, breads, and fish.

Now of course shellfish are forbidden as 'detestable' in Leviticus, but for Gentile Christians we are basically under Noahide dietary expectations (Acts 15:29). Christians are universally expected to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. These and a few other things are the only parts of the law that are binding for us. So in trying to apply these categories, hypothetically assuming that shellfish were not 'detestable' but were permissible in a Jewish diet, would they fall under the 'pareve' category?

This might help to explain the Christian preference for seafood generally in fasting and dietary abstinence periods, for example 'fish Fridays' in Catholicism and shellfish everything in Orthodoxy.

A friend also shared from the Mishna, as quoted in the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Hullin 104A:

"הנודר מן הבשר מותר בבשר דגים וחגבים"

"The one who has taken a vow to abstain from meat/flesh is permitted the flesh of fish and locusts/grasshoppers."

Comment: Historically, Christianity has allowed people to eat fish on days on which one is required to abstain from meat, an idea many modern vegetarians find curious. Interestingly, it seems essentially the same line of reasoning is employed in ancient Jewish texts, ergo it seems the relevant approach is very old (and perhaps pre-Christian?).

Anyway...any thoughts, comments or reflections? For a Gentile/Noahide dietary approach, would shellfish count as pareve?
 

DeniseDenise

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overthinking much?


You cannot simultaneously say something is pareve....which is neutral (can be eaten with either dairy products or meat products) while not judaizing.  The whole point of pareve foods is lost since it hinges on WHAT you can eat the foods with.......


And what does it matter what Noahide rule followers do?


 

Iconodule

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I don't see "Judaizing" in the OP at all, just an interesting historical question.
 

DeniseDenise

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Iconodule said:
I don't see "Judaizing" in the OP at all, just an interesting historical question.

But the idea of a 'neutral' category that can be eaten with either grouping....and not mixing those two groupings...does not appear in even early Christian fasting.


 

Iconodule

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DeniseDenise said:
Iconodule said:
I don't see "Judaizing" in the OP at all, just an interesting historical question.

But the idea of a 'neutral' category that can be eaten with either grouping....and not mixing those two groupings...does not appear in even early Christian fasting.
The OP is obviously aware that Christian fasting practices are not simply a carryover of Jewish dietary laws. The question is whether the allowance of fish/ shellfish on fasting days has some historical relation to the pareve classification and also Jewish fasting guidelines.
 

genesisone

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Iconodule said:
The OP is obviously aware that Christian fasting practices are not simply a carryover of Jewish dietary laws. The question is whether the allowance of fish/ shellfish on fasting days has some historical relation to the pareve classification and also Jewish fasting guidelines.
It wouldn't surprise me that Jewish fasting guidelines might have had some influence - however, it is clear that Jewish dietary guidelines were set aside (note shellfish is allowed by Christians but not Jews). I would also want to know what distinctions the prevalent culture of the time made between meat/flesh, fish, and shellfish - did they see these classifications as entirely different sorts of creatures?
 

Alveus Lacuna

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DeniseDenise said:
And what does it matter what Noahide rule followers do?
Acts 15:29 is basically a reiteration of the Noahide laws as binding for Christians. This is about the internal logic of shellfish not being considered meat. Hi, I'm Matthew. Nice to meet you. Why do you seem so angry?
 

rakovsky

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Historically, Christianity has allowed people to eat fish on days on which one is required to abstain from meat,
I think that what you are saying only applies to the Western Christian church from medieval times onward, unless you know directly of some early Christian writing directly explicit.
 

Svartzorn

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I don't think someone should take jewish practices into consideration, but rather the teachings of the Church and one's personal disposition to fast.
I'm being lenient on dairy products this Lent, for instance. That's just my personal stance on this determinate period. It doesn't mean that's what the Church teaches, that does not mean I'm taking jewish tradition into consideration.

@Mor: calm down what? :eek:
 

Iconodule

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rakovsky said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
Historically, Christianity has allowed people to eat fish on days on which one is required to abstain from meat,
I think that what you are saying only applies to the Western Christian church from medieval times onward, unless you know directly of some early Christian writing directly explicit.
Just take a look at any Eastern Orthodox calendar, there are fasting days with fish allowed. Palm Sunday and Annunciation, for instance. Also Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year when some major saint's feast falls. These rules occur in the typikon as we have it today- I assume they are of ancient provenance.

There's also the fact that in monasteries, where meat is always forbidden, fish is served frequently on non-fasting days. In Orthodox fasting rules, then, fish is clearly considered on a different tier from meat and dairy.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Iconodule said:
There's also the fact that in monasteries, where meat is always forbidden, fish is served frequently on non-fasting days. In Orthodox fasting rules, then, fish is clearly considered on a different tier from meat and dairy.
Exactly, and this is where the discussion of categories comes in. This Jewish dietary category corresponds almost directly with what we are permitted to eat on days of abstention.

"In kashrut, the dietary laws of Judaism, pareve (from Yiddish פאַרעוו for "neutral", in Hebrew פרווה, and also parve and other variant English spellings) is a classification of edible substances that contain neither dairy nor meat ingredients. Food in this category includes all items that grow from the ground (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), fish, eggs, and non-biological edible items (such as water and salt). Kashrut forbids consuming mixtures of milk and meat, consuming milk and meat at the same meal, consuming dairy foods within a period of time after consuming meat (the period varies by custom), and using the same dishes for both dairy and meat. Pareve foods, being neutral, can be consumed with either dairy or meat."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareve

Aside from eggs, this is a dead ringer for Eastern Orthodox "fasting" practices (fasting in quotes as fasting is actually not eating anything at all, but you know what I mean). We are also forbidden foods made with animal products, such as food cooked in lard, during our fasts. Everything is basically keeping a pareve/neutral diet. My main thought on shellfish is that it is also not meat, but that it is permissible for us under the universally binding dietary laws of the Jerusalem council in Acts.

I was hoping for some thoughtful commentary or reflection on this, but this thread is a total drag.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Alveus Lacuna said:
I was hoping for some thoughtful commentary or reflection on this, but this thread is a total drag.
What exactly were you hoping for?  Some discussion on how early Christian fasting evolved from even earlier Jewish traditions?  How there is something of a continuity there?  I also think that would be interesting, but don't know enough about the subject to speak intelligently about it.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Antonious Nikolas said:
What exactly were you hoping for?  Some discussion on how early Christian fasting evolved from even earlier Jewish traditions?  How there is something of a continuity there?
Bingo. Additional insight, other examples like the one from the Babylonian Talmud, etc. A little less accusations of Judaizing, telling me to not take Jews into consideration on fasting matters, etc.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
What exactly were you hoping for?  Some discussion on how early Christian fasting evolved from even earlier Jewish traditions?  How there is something of a continuity there?
Bingo.  Additional insight, other examples like the one from the Babylonian Talmud, etc.
Like I said, I'm just talking out of the side of my neck here, but I would imagine that there had to be some continuity at least, even as there was with other things (the hours of prayer, liturgical worship, etc.).  We are no longer bound by the Law of course, but Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, not a brand new religion that came into being spontaneously with the Incarnation of Our Lord.  Here's hoping your research pans out.  :)
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Antonious Nikolas said:
We are no longer bound by the Law of course, but Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, not a brand new religion that came into being spontaneously with the Incarnation of Our Lord.
I would disagree slightly and say that Gentile Christians are bound to the above cited portions of the Law in Acts 15:29, and that we should delight in the Lord's Law and his commandments.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
We are no longer bound by the Law of course, but Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, not a brand new religion that came into being spontaneously with the Incarnation of Our Lord.
I would disagree slightly and say that Gentile Christians are bound to the above cited portions of the Law in Acts 15:29, and that we should delight in the Lord's Law and his commandments.
That's pretty mild.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Antonious Nikolas said:
That's pretty mild.
It'd be less mild if we tried discussing Jews which embrace the Gospel, and the nature of their relationship to the Law, which I don't propose to necessarily do here but am just countering your charge of mildness to be difficult.  ;)
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
That's pretty mild.
It'd be less mild if we tried discussing Jews which embrace the Gospel, and the nature of their relationship to the Law, which I don't propose to necessarily do here but am just countering your charge of mildness to be difficult.  ;)
I mean, it's a pretty mild reading of the Law.  Not much to be bound to at all.  A light yoke, I guess.
 
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