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Is Human Blood Kosher?

Is Human Blood Kosher?

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Question:

I know that the Torah prohibits the consumption of blood. Does this apply to my own blood as well?

Answer:

When the Torah tells us that we are allowed to eat the meat of kosher animals, we are warned that "…you shall not eat the blood…."

Although human blood is not included in this Biblical prohibition, it is nevertheless forbidden. This is because human blood resembles animal blood; one who observes people eating human blood might believe it is permitted to consume animal blood.

If you cut yourself while preparing food and a drop of blood accidentally falls into your dish, just get rid of the spot where the blood landed. If the blood got lost in the food and is unnoticeable, Halachah does not require you to throw out the dish, since there is no concern that an observer would think the food contains animal blood.

On the same note, if you are eating an apple and notice that there a flecks of blood in the apple (presumably from a cut on your gum) you cannot eat that part of the apple. However, if you are bleeding in your mouth, and the blood did not leave your mouth, you have nothing to worry about.

This is all from a halachic perspective. From a health perspective, you might wish to be more wary of consuming human blood.

Oh, and please be careful when cutting salads—even if it will still be kosher.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Eliezer Posner


Sources

Deuteronomy 12:16.
Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah 66:10.

Eliezer Posner is a former member of the Chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (12)
March 21, 2013
Blood
I can say there is some comfusion on my part. I thought I read in the book of Leviticus that if you hunt for food you may eat it if the blood is poured upon the ground?
Leviticus 17:13
Now I have not memorized the whole thing but I am reading from it every day. I also have now come to understand that it is probably safer if you bathe every evening also. Never knew that before.
Learning
Texas
February 27, 2012
This reminds me of Shakespeare
When Portia told Shylock "You are completely entitled to your pound of flesh, but if you draw one drop of blood, I'll kill you." Is g-d saying the same thing? "Eat as much meat as you want, just don't eat even one drop of blood."
Lincoln
11238, NYC
February 26, 2012
Good Point, Rabii Schmaltz
You're right. It's impossible to eat meat and not eat a drop of blood. Yet in Deuteronomy 12, G-d explicitly tells us we may eat meat? Hmmmm. Is G-d teasing us?
Lincoln
11238, NYC
February 26, 2012
Meat contains blood
There is no way possible to eat any kind of meat without consuming blood. The only way into heaven is to abstain from meat from the day you were born. Even one cell of blood consumed means your ticket to heaven has been cancelled. That means any dental work pretty much dooms you, as all of the bleeding can never be completely cleaned, and you will consume even a small amount.
Rabii Schmaltz
Fargo, ND
October 3, 2011
Blood Transfusions
I feel the rabbi gave an excellent explanation. Unfortunately, members of the religion Jehovah's Witnesses take the command of not consuming blood to the extreme and do not allow blood transfusions.
Yiska
Alliance, OH
September 25, 2009
Hmmm,
The sages forbade consuming human blood because it looks like you're consuming animal blood.

So once your finger is already in your mouth, swallowing the blood should certainly be permitted, because no one sees what your doing anyways.
MZ
September 24, 2009
One additional followup question
Well, you may certainly stick your finger in your mouth, whether or not one may actually swallow that blood is debated by the halachic authorities (see Darkei Teshuvah).
Menachem Posner for Chabad.org
September 12, 2009
One additional followup question
So this answer covers food that is touched by human blood if you cut yourself while cooking. But what about if you get a papercut while not preparing food? Is it kosher to stick your finger in your mouth to staunch the bleeding and help it clot?
Anonymous
--, USA
March 31, 2009
Patty, I have always felt the same way. . .
I am stuck in X-ianity for now due to having a large family. This is an aspect that has gotten to me and I am Eastern Orthodox. This explanation is so right on and so simple-- why haven't more people naturally been clued in to this?
Anonymous
February 25, 2009
RE: Goths
The person who originally asked this question wanted to know what to do if she bled while preparing food. So the Goths are nebach paining and mutilating themselves, but you can rest assured that the person who asked this question is OK.
Eliezer Posner, Chabad.org
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