|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Jennifer (17), Lizzy (13) & Sarah (16)
Lizzy's Bat Mitzvah
On Saturday (October 5, 2002), Lizzy celebrates her Bat Mizvah. In the Jewish religion, a mitzvah is a good deed or blessing, but the literal translation is "commandment." Bat Mitzvah means daughter of commandment. My three daughters are all now young women. The coming of age (13) means that a child becomes an adult. During the past year, Lizzy had studied the Torah, and part of her ceremony is to read a passage from the orignal Hebrew in front of the congregation. Her passage was from Genesis, in the beginning. As I listened to her medlodic chantings during the past year, I recalled my own Bar Mitzvah in the 1960s. There are tens of thousands of possible Torah portions that a young child could be assigned to read, based upon one's day of birth, the Jewish calendar, and the rabbi's discretion, divinely inspired, of course. Lizzy's beginning represented the first day of her adult life. My beginning was a foreshadowing of my own destiny. My Torah portion included this passage: EXODUS - 32:35 "Then the LORD sent a plague upon the people, for what they did...." In the book of Exodus (not the movie version), Moses was walking down Mount Sinai holding the Ten Commandments. God had promised to deliver the Jews to a land filled with "milk and honey," but the Jews had turned their backs to God and constructed a baby cow to worship. In fury, God called them a "stiffed-necked people," and told Moses that he was going to destroy them all and build a new race in the image of Moses. Moses talked God into reconsidering his position, and God then instructed Moses to gather his soldiers and kill the three thousand people responsible for such blasphemy. That is what the Bible tells us. And then, after the guilty parties were killed, God sent a plague unto all mankind. Science and religion merge as one into a magnificent truth. The odds of what happened, that number exceeds the total number of sub-atomic particles in the universe. Moses was a sheep-herder, a shepherd. In those days, people drank sheep and goat's milk, not cow's milk. The average dairy cow only yielded one quart of milk each day, not enough to feed the multitudes. What was the plague that God sent to all of the people...to all of mankind? I have asked this question of priests and rabbis, Judaic scholars who study Torah. Their response is that the Torah does not state specifically what that "plague" or punishment was. Biblical writers had no microscopes. Nor did they, in their wildest dreams, imagine the tools of our biotechnology. Cells, amino acids, proteins were all impossible to imagine. There are four thousand mammals in the animal kingdom and hundreds of millions of different proteins. Each protein is unique to each species, save one. There is a miracle of nature at work here...a "cows-mic" coincidence that is so improbable as to approach the unthinkable. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in humans and cows is identical. Our most powerful growth hormone is identical to a cow's most powerful growth hormone. IGF-I, both in humans and bovines, contains 70 amino acids in the same exact order and sequence. A coincidence, the odds of which are astronomical. One very special protein hormone contains 70 amino acids. This hormone happens to be the most powerful growth hormone produced in the human body. A study published in the May 9, 1998 issue of the British medical journal Lancet revealed the absolute correlation of high levels of this powerful hormone in the bodies of women with breast cancer. IGF-I has made front page news in every newspaper in America as a result of that paper. Many months earlier, a similar study found IGF-I levels elevated in males with prostate cancer. The prostate cancer study was published in the journal SCIENCE in January of 1998. Many scientists call our most powerful growth hormone the key factor in the growth and proliferation of cancer. What these scientists do not realize is that IGF-I is identical in humans and cows. One 12-ounce glass of milk doubles the amount of free IGF-I in the human body. God sent a "plague" upon all of the people for building the baby cow. In celebrating my Bar Mitzvah, I chanted verses in which Moses spoke to the Amorites and Hittites and Canaanites. As a small boy of 13 years, I became a man by reading my future destiny. I was to become the man who would one day come to realize the significance of EXODUS 32:35 more than thirty years later, after reading that same chapter at age 13. All at once, it dawned on me, a new dawn. Talk about cow- incidences...talk about a Cohen-cidence!
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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