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According to tradition, Israelities were sustained for forty years on the manna God provided. It is also believed that there was no need to relieve themselves during that period of time. I have been told by Orthodox Jews that comsumption of non-kosher food not only affects the Jews' soul, but his body as well. Would not consuming "regular" food for such length of time not also affect the body?

This makes me wonder. Have there ever been discussion of the affects of manna on the Jewish physical body? How about the affects of non-kosher? For certain not consuming "regular" food or drink or going to the bathroom for forty years HAD to have an affect on the body, miracle or no miracle. For example, could this be the reason for the high incidence of lactose intolerance amongst Ashkenazi's? Is it possible that diseases mostly limited to Ashkenazi Jews (such as Tay Sacs) can be attributable to lack consumption of regular food? Did the experience of the forty years wandering influence Jewish diet preferences?

I really can't imagine my general question has never been explored by rabbinical authorities. Am I right? Who discussed this and what was their response and sources?

Shana Tova to All

  • It wasn't just Ashkenazi Jews that ate the manna, it was all Jews. As a matter of fact, there wasn't yet a distinction between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews yet (Ashkenazi literally means 'from Ashkenaz', which is often translated as Germany). At this point, everyone was the same 'denomination' of Jew. – Salmononius2 Sep 16 '15 at 22:37
  • RE: "HAD to have an affect on the body, miracle or no miracle." Why are you assuming that? Isn't the point of a miracle that the result isn't 'natural'? Otherwise it would simply be nature, which is the 'opposite' of a miracle. – Salmononius2 Sep 16 '15 at 22:41
  • I have never really heard that there is a specific 'physical' effect for eating non-kosher, but the Talmudic sources do mention that a 'Timtum Halev' (roughly translated as a burnish on the soul) occurs for eating non-kosher food. – Salmononius2 Sep 16 '15 at 22:48

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