Is human flesh a kosher food?

Please provide both modern and classical sources.

  • @DoubleAA - By Genesis 9:3, humans were given permission to eat kol remes asher hu-chai ("every moving thing that lives", according to ArtScroll). Would that also include human flesh? Otherwise, there's a negative inference: all that humans may eat (kal va-chomer all that is kosher) is by explicit permission only. – Ted Hopp Sep 10 '12 at 23:18
  • Mishneh Torah, MaAchalot Assurot, Ch.2 Hal. 3 looks at it through the signs of kosher animals, says it's forbidden but that eating live or dead human flesh does not make one liable for lashes. Ramah, Yoreh Deah 79:1 writes: Human flesh is forbidden by the Torah. – Aryeh Sep 10 '12 at 23:32
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    @DoubleAA , related (baal tsaktzu)… – sam Sep 10 '12 at 23:34
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  • The prohibition against not eating humans, or more specifically, Jews, is not because they aren't kosher, but because it is wrong. (Eating Gentiles is not acceptable either!) – ezra Dec 14 '16 at 21:08
up vote 18 down vote accepted

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Machalos Asuros Perek Beis Halocha Gimmel):

האדם--אף על פי שנאמר בו "ויהי האדם, לנפש חיה" (בראשית ב,ז), אינו בכלל מיני חיה בעלת פרסה; לפיכך אינו בלא תעשה. והאוכל מבשר האדם או מחלבו, בין מן החי בין מן המת--אינו לוקה. אבל אסור הוא בעשה, שהרי מנה הכתוב שבעת מיני חיה ואמר בהן "זאת החיה אשר תאכלו" (ויקרא יא,ב)--הא כל שהוא חוץ מהן, לא תאכלו; ולאו הבא מכלל עשה, עשה הוא.

Translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger:

With regard to humans: Although [Genesis 2:7] states: "And the man became a beast with a soul," he is not included in the category of hoofed animals. Therefore, he is not included in the [above] prohibition. Accordingly, one who partakes of meat or fat from a man - whether alive or deceased - is not liable for lashes. It is, however, forbidden [to partake of human meat] because of the positive commandment [mentioned above]. For the Torah [Leviticus 11:2] lists the seven species of kosher wild beasts and says: "These are the beasts of which you may partake." Implied is that any other than they may not be eaten. And a negative commandment that comes as a result of a positive commandment is considered as a positive commandment.

[As a side point - if you stick your hand into a pot of boiling soup do you need shishim? I remember seeing an answer somewhere that taste does not come out of something that is alive..]

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    There you go. The question asks for "both modern and classical sources" and you've included both the Rambam and a modern translation. :-) +1. – msh210 Sep 11 '12 at 15:15
  • Answer: According to Raavad (as opposed to Tosafot) one only measures against what was exuded; very very little, so shishim would pretty much never be an issue. – mevaqesh Mar 16 '16 at 22:07
  • IF it were a problem, handwashing dishes without gloves above the lowest temperature given for yad soledet would be problematic. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 7 '17 at 20:15

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protected by Monica Cellio Dec 14 '16 at 19:36

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