Why don’t Jews eat pigs? Is it because they are sloppy, fat and once carried diseases? Contrary to popular opinion, the answer is no.
Let’s first understand what the definition of a kosher animal is. An animal must have split hooves and chew its cud. The cow, sheep, goat, deer and even the giraffe are kosher. Birds are specifically named. And fish must have fins and scales.
Otherwise if it moves on its own it ain’t kosher.
What is in common with all those animals; they are almost all vegetarians, not killers. Even when we eat, we like to cultivate the middos (character traits) we aspire. By eating docile (though dumb) animals we are stating we are a peaceful people. (Notice being smart is not the first priority, not at the expanse of being a mensch.)
Four animals are listed in the Torah that have only one sign: the camel, the rabbit, the hare and the pig.
(And since the Torah has been given to us, there has never been another animal found to add to this list.)
The camel, the rabbit and the hare all chew their cud but do not have split hooves. Only the pig has split hooves and does not chew its cud. What does this mean?
Chewing the cud is a slow (regurgitating) process that takes place internally. It is like thinking (for some) they process, they think about it, they review and then they accept it all quietly.
The pig goes around and shows off its kosher split hooves; the external sign of kashrus, but inside he quickly devours all that is around him. It is a pretense. There is nothing inside. The pig represents all that is not spiritual.
That was the Greeks.
It isn’t surprising, one of the ways the Greeks (and Hellenists) provoked the Jews, was to try to force the Jews to sacrifice a pig in the Temple. They pretended to be religious on a higher plane, and they had many gods to prove it. But it was all a pretense. Their gods were around only to give permission to their pungent pleasures. They were like pigs. They look religious but they were empty.
Jews hate hypocrites; and the Greeks, (and perhaps we could put on the list; Hellenists) and the pig are the zenith of deception. That is why the pig is traif.
Have a Happy Kosher Hanuka!