Dr Ilan Greenberg of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced yesterday that the whole concept of “Kosher” might be ‘a bit Atkins, a bit Dukan – you know, the usual weird shit’, following the fresh discovery of written evidence during recent excavations at Tel Hazor.
‘Yes, we know traditionalists ascribe the separation of dairy from flesh to the biblical injunction not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk,’ said Dr Greenberg, ‘but we’ve got a paleo-Hebrew-inscribed-pot-sherd that says “want to lose a shekel of weight in 7 weeks? Don’t mix milk and meat - talk to Moshe today!”. How do you answer that, bible scholars?’
Dr Greenberg’s thesis also outlined how a craze in the northern Negev could have swept across the whole Jewish nation. ‘Well imagine the wife of a priest signs up, let’s call her Mrs Levi’ said Greenberg. ‘The whole kit arrives and takes up half the kitchen– the separate pans for meat and dairy, the special scrubbing brushes, the scribe who records the daily food diary. Well, what if Mr Levi’s friends come round and start laughing at him for wasting all that cash? What’s he going to do? Claim he can’t control his wife’s expenditure, or announce that this is standard practice in his house - in fact, God’s told him to recommend to the next meeting of the Sanhedrin that this is how things are gonna be for the followers of the first Abrahamic faith from now on? I know what I’d do’.
If Dr Greenberg’s hypothesis is correct, the ‘Moshe’s Milk, then Meat Diet’ battled for supremacy with the equally popular ‘Eat Anything You Like – Except Pigs and Shellfish Plan’, before the two were merged during the exile in Babylon. At some point the ‘Avoid Cloven Hoof Hip Diet’ and the ‘Locust are Better than Lentils Lunch Plan’ were incorporated as well.
But did any of the diets actually work? ‘Who knows’ said Dr Greenberg, ‘, but the word in the synagogue is that ultra-orthodox ladies look frum yet foxy, and it’s the Liberals who carry the spare tyre for the rest of the race. Draw your own conclusions.’