Suppose another religion has dietary laws that overlap with those of Judaism. For example, Zoroastrianism prohibits eating all land animals and prohibits eating various kinds of fish and other sea animals depending on conditions such as the species, what time of year it is, and how the animal was raised. Also they are prohibited from eating all insects and have to wash and inspect all fruits and vegetables to make sure there is no bugs in them, also they are strictly prohibited from eating pork just like in Jewish dietary laws https://authenticgathazoroastrianism.org/2012/03/05/zoroastrian-dietary-laws-animal-friendship-and-stewardship/

Would a Jew be allowed to follow such dietary laws, along with the Jewish dietary laws?

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    It is forbidden to imitate the customs of gentiles. This would be included. May 27, 2016 at 15:10
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    Jews do not avoid meat during this time. Furthermore, mitzvot are to be performed with proper intention. Avoiding even non kosher food with the intention of serving a foreign deity is prohibited, and one would not get "credit" for the mitzvah. May 27, 2016 at 15:16
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    ywnmoderator, welcome to Mi Yodeya! I've edited the question to broaden it and remove what seems to me to be extraneous details about Zoroastrianism that distract from the core question. Please edit further if you feel that the question now doesn't reflect what you want to know about Judaism.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 27, 2016 at 15:29
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    Why would one want to do this?
    – Double AA
    May 27, 2016 at 15:34
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    @aaron why must that be true?
    – Double AA
    May 29, 2016 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


The Torah writes (Vayikra 20:23)

You shall not follow the practices of the nation that I am driving out before you. For it is because they did all these things that I abhorred them

Writes the Sefer HaChinuch 262

[...] And the law is the same for all the nations, since the matter is that they turn away from [following] God, and worship idolatry. And the content of the commandment is that we not behave like them in our clothing and our matters. [...] It is from the roots of the commandment [that it is] in order to distance ourselves from them and disparage all of their customs, and even in dress.

As such one cannot follow the customs of another people/religion if the objective is to do like them. It is particularly true if one would decide not to eat permitted kosher foods (e.g., beef) because Zoroastrianism prohibits it.

For more see here and there.

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    At the same time, if someone Jewish avoids beef today because of health reasons, that's perfectly fine. No one is forcing you to eat it. It's trying to observe another faith that gets tricky. Meanwhile, there are plenty of foods that are certified by multiple religious authorities; the fact that something is also halal doesn't make it any less kosher. Maimonides ruled 800 years ago that we prefer to not intentionally have a cow face Mecca before it is slaughtered, but if that's a requirement in a Muslim land, the meat is still kosher if slaughtered properly by a Jew.
    – Shalom
    Jan 24, 2019 at 0:33

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