Tzav 5762

Posted on March 23, 2011

by Hadar Schwartz

“I want to suck your blood.” As great as the temptation is to eat the blood of an animal (yes, we all aspire to be like Dracula), the Torah specifically prohibits this practice in this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Tzav. In Chapter 7, verses 26-27 of the Book of Vayikrah, the Torah states: “And you should not eat any blood…every person that eats blood, that person will be cut off from the nation.”

This punishment may seem harsh, which it is, but it also seems validated. Jews put such a high value on life. Through this, Jews show how differently they regard life, how special life is to them. Unlike the other nations, the Israelites are now saying, “No, we will not drink blood.” Ancient peoples used to drink blood as a remedy or to give them strength. Jews were saying to the other nations, “Life means more to us than that.” The Children of Israel were also separating themselves from the animals. Animals eat what they whatever they want, whenever they want it. They don’t care if there is blood. Jews are meticulous about washing away all the blood and spilling the blood of an animal after it has been slaughtered.

Through this simple commandment, we Jews separate ourselves from other nations and elevate ourselves from the animals. Now we understand why there aren’t so many Jewish vampires.