The Weird and Wonderful History of Pork in Israel
A look at how pork has been administered by the government, as well as its evolution throughout Israeli society.
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Of all the rules of kashrut (kosher dietary laws), the prohibition against eating pork has perhaps the deepest resonance for Jews.
Our refusal to eat pork has been understood, historically, as a symbol of Jewish identity. During the persecutions of Antiochus IV that form the background to the Chanukah story, for example, Jews accepted martyrdom rather than eating pork in public, since they understood this action as a public renunciation of their faith.
And, in the Spanish Inquisition, Jews were forced to choose between death and eating pork to pledge their allegiance to the church.
So, when the State of Israel was founded in 1948, you might be surprised at how pork was administered by the government, as well as its weird and wonderful evolution throughout Israeli society.
Let’s take a look: