The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora
183 - EATING GID HA-NASHEH
There is a large, long nerve existing on the back of an animal called gid ha-nasheh, i.e. sciatic nerve. To eat the meat of this part of an animal, one must remove that nerve, which is difficult to remove. Therefore, many Jews avoid eating the meat on that region.
In his Commentary on the Mishnah, Maimonides pertinently remarks on this point: “Whatever we must abstain from and whatever we are obliged to do, we do so because God commanded it to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, and not because He had said it to the earlier prophets. Thus, we abstain from eating a limb severed whole from a living animal not because God prohibited it to Noah, but because Moses was so enjoined from Sinai. Similarly, we perform the rite of circumcision not because Abraham and his household observed it, but because God commanded us through Moses our teacher to be circumcised as Abraham was. Again, we abstain from eating the sinew of the thigh-vein not because we intend to observe the prohibition that was laid on our father Jacob, but because our aim is to observe the commandment that was given to Moses our teacher. Thus the sages say: ‘Six hundred and thirteen commandments were declared unto Moses at Sinai.’”*