ISRAEL PHOTOS V -- Spring 2011



Acts 10 (WEB) Peter's Vision
9 Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon. 10 He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth, 12 in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. 13 A voice came to him, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat!" 14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." 15 A voice came to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean." 16 This was done three times, and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven.

The Good Lord revealed to Peter that he might eat any type of animal. This was good for Peter to know as he was being sent to preach to a Gentile household where any type of food might be served. The Jews of this era did not normally eat in Gentile homes for fear they would be made ritually unclean.

The Jews had Kosher dietary laws from the Leviticus 11 that forbade the eating of pork, camel meat, rabbits, squid, oysters, shrimp, and other seafood that did not grow fish scales. While not eating uncooked pork may have prevented intestinal parasite, these Kosher dietary laws are imperfect. Louis Pasteur showed heating foods killed bacteria. Heating milk (pasteurization) kills bacteria to prevent spoilage. The Romans had cooking pots of ceramic/clay and metal fabrication. They cooked their meat before eating it. Cooking pots found in ancient ruins are evidence of preference for cooked food. Cooking killed germs and also killed parasite eggs that were in the flesh of some animals.

In Acts 15 Peter and the apostles decided the Gentile believers should not be circumcised, but wrote a letter of guidance:
Acts 15:23 ...“The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings. 24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ to whom we gave no commandment; 25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”

Fishermen unload their catch onto the dock at Joppa/Yafo.

The catch includes fish, squid, and crabs. The squid and crabs are not eaten by observant Jews to this day. God made these things clean in his vision to Peter. The ocean harvest is bountiful. Truth and righteousness have greatly reduced disease from contaminated food.

When I was 57 I ate whatever I wanted. I got kidney stones, a bladder stone, high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate and elevated PSA levels. After a urine analysis showed I was forming uric acid stones, I asked the physician's assistant what causes uric acid stones. She said, "Animal protein." I went home and started to Google these words. I was praying for healing as I thought I might die. The pain from the bladder stone was severe. I was pissing blood with my urine. I walked past my TV and something inside me was asking me to turn on the TV. I turned it on. It was on PBS with a presentation from Dr. Joel Fuhrman about his plant based diet. After the show was over, I bought a Kindle version of his book, "Eat to Live." I followed his instructions as best I could. Within three days my blood pressure dropped to about 130. I was in a surgical hospital with a vital sign display near my gurney and the middle ages anesthesiologist for my bladder stone operation told me I was healthier than he was.  I had the bladder stone removed by non-invasive laser surgery. I continued to study Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations and those of researchers he cited. I lost 14 pounds, saw my blood pressure below 120 sometimes, lowered my PSA and within six months was on a primarily vegetarian gluten free diet without any sign of kidney stones since then. I stopped taking my flomax prostate medicine. I no longer think eating pork, beef, squid or tuna is good for me. Sometimes I ate meat at community meals in order to avoid isolation, then went back to my vegetarian foods. I take vitamin D and B-12 supplements. Not all supplements are healthy.

Eventually I read books by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish, T. Colliln Campbell and Michael Greger ( I learned a very low fat vegan diet has been shown to reverse heart disease in a high percentage of people who adhered to the diet recommended by Dr. Dean Ornish. I know the people of Jesus' day did not have access to accurate information about what foods are good and what foods are bad. They had not learned the work of Louis Pasteur who sanitized utensils with fire instead of dipping them in a community mikveh bath. The truth is becoming apparent as parts of the Torah are surpassed by scientific testimony.