David Israel Macht (Born::February 14, 1882 - Died::October 14, 1961) was a Pharmacologist, Doctor of Hebrew Literature, and Johns Hopkins medical researcher with a number of notable achievements. In the field of toxicology, Dr. Macht was known for his work regarding phytopharmocological (using plant-based methods) for determining toxicity. Dr. Macht wrote in the peer-reviewed journal Science that the toxicity test used for the study on Levitical clean and unclean animals was "certainly just as reliable as those gathered from animal test subjects, if not more so" (see reference below). Dr. Macht added in the Science article, "poisons elaborated or produced by animals or zoogenic poisons, are commonly much more toxic for living plant protoplasm than for living animal tissues." In addition, in the field of toxicology Dr. Macht was a snake venom expert. Currently, Johns Hopkins honors Dr. Macht via the David I. Macht award.
In conservative Jewish religious circles, Dr. Macht is known for his work reported in a Johns Hopkins publication indicating that kosher food (meat, fish, etc) is less toxic than non-kosher food. In addition, Dr. Macht had research indicating the harmful physiological effects of meat and milk combinations. Dr. Macht also compared conventional animal slaughtering versus kosher slaughtering and determined that kosher slaughtering produced less toxic meat.
Dr. Macht made a number of other notable contributions to medical science and had considerable expertise in Hebrew literature as well.
- Macht, D. M.D., (1953). “An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Leviticus XI and Deuteronomy XIV,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 27. 444-450
- Macht, D.I. and Macht, M.B. : Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 1941, 26: 597
- Macht, D. I. Medical Leaves 1940; 3:174-184
- Macht, D.I. , Science 1930, 71 :302