Bacteria in the Cafeteria

Question

Why is yogurt with live acidopilus and bifidus cultures kosher to eat if we are not allowed to eat bugs?

9 months

Answers

  1. Good question. Now let me ask you one: Why are we allowed to breathe? Zillions of microorganisms are floating around in the air, and we swallow some with every breath.

    The answer: The Torah prohibits bugs only if they can be seen by the naked eye. Organisms seen only with the aid of a microscope are kosher.

    The logic is like this: The Torah was given to human beings, not angels. Its laws are geared to normal human experience. Bugs we see in ‘real life’ are forbidden. ‘Invisible’ ones – which seem like they exist only in a laboratory – are not forbidden.

    When improved microscopes brought improved awareness of microscopic organisms, some people suggested that perhaps we should filter our water to avoid consuming the organisms. A renowned rabbi responded: “If you give a nickel to charity while holding it under a magnifying glass, do you get credit as though you gave a dime?”

    Speaking of germs: Three amoebae are sitting on a park bench. Suddenly, one of them jumps up and runs off.

    “Hey! Where did Harry go?” one asks the other.

    “Guess he had to split.”

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team