In Halakhah and Aggadah. In a baraita mentioned three times in the Babylonian Talmud
(Sot. 49b:BK 82b: Men. 64b), the prohibition against rearing pig is joined with the prohibition against studying "Greek wisdom."
and some scholars have queried the trustworthiness of this tradition and tend to the opinion that the incident referred to there -
when the besiegers of Jerusalem sent up a pig to the besieged in place of the two lambs for the daily sacrifices occurred
during the siege of Jerusalem by Titus when the subsequent prohibition against rearing pigs was decreed (TJ, BER: 1, 7B)
where a similar story occurs about sending up a pig at "the time of the wicked kingdom"). It seems, however, that the prohibition against rearing pigs was already known in the day of the early Hasmoneans; it is possible that its source is to be found in a reaction to the decrees of Antiochius Epiphanes, who ordered a pig to be offered as a sacrifice (I Macc. 1:47) and pig's flesh to be eaten (II Macc. 6: 18-7:42), and that the incident in the time of the Hasmonean brothers caused the prohibition to be stressed with greater emphasis.
The phrase "Cursed be the man who rears" is worthy of attention. It would appear that, with the increase of the non-Jewish population, Jews in Erez Israel apparently engaged in the business of pig rearing. Of interest is the combination "pig-breeders and usurers" (Ber. 55a, and Rashi. ad loc.) both of which were regarded as providing an easy means of livelihood. Although there are many references in the aggadah to a feeling of' revulsion and disgust toward swine flesh, the rabbis refrained from connecting the prohibition with this feeling. Eleazar b. Azariah expounded, "Whence do we know that a man should not say. 'I have no desire to eat swine's flesh,' but rather should he say 'I would like to eat it, but what can I do seeing that my Father in Heaven has decreed against it"' (Sifra. Kedoshim, Perek 11:22). A substitute was even given in a fish called shibuta "which resembles the pig" in taste (Hul. 109b: Tanh. Shemini, 12).
In the Midrash the Roman kingdom is called hazir ("pig"), It is possible that the name originated in the fact that the symbol of the Roman legion in Erez Israel was the boar (see ARN. 34:100:" ' The ... boar out of the wood doth ravage it' [Ps. 8O:14], refers to the Roman kingdom", and cf. Mid. Ps. to 80:6). The Midrashim explain the name with reference to the characteristics common to Rome and to the pig: "and the swine because he parteth the hoof"-why is [Rome] compared to a swine?-To teach that just as a swine when it lies down puts out its hooves as if to say, 'see. I am clean,' so too the kingdom of Edom [Rome] acts arrogantly, and plunders and robs under the guise of establishing a judicial tribunal" (Lev. R. 13:5). Another "etymological" explanation states: "Why is [Rome] called hazir ['pig'] ... because it will eventually restore haHazir ['the kingdom'] to its rightful owner" (Eccles. R. 1:9: Lev. R. 13:5). This statement was quoted in the Middle Ages by the people with the reading, "Why is it called a pig? - Because the Holy One will restore it to Israel" (i.e., declare it clean), and in this form it became a topic in Jewish-Christian polemics.
In Israel. The raising of pigs in the Holy Land was always regarded with abhorrence not only by Jewish religious circles but also by many outside the strictly religious camp. The Jewish National Fund's leases forbade pig raising on its land. The religious parties pressed for the prohibition of pig breeding by law, but in the early years of statehood it was left to local authorities to pass their own bylaws in this matter. When the Supreme Court, in a test case, ruled that such regulations were ultra vires, the religious parties pressed for, and secured, the passage of a special authorization law (5717/1956) to give the local authorities the necessary authority. There was still pressure for the prohibition of pig breeding on a national basis and in 1962 a law was passed forbidding the breeding, keeping, or slaughtering of pigs, except in Nazareth and in certain other named places with a sizable Christian population. [ED.]