Apology to Beemanlee
So I'm sitting in class with professor Daniel Boyarin, and he is explaining to us the difference between purity laws and kosher laws (including the English complications that result from using "clean/unclean" for both categories) and I'm realizing that your counterargument to my reading of Mark 7 was dead on.
My argument was that Jesus seems to be breaking with the Mosaic law; your argument--if I remember it correctly--was that Jesus is defending the Torah against the Pharisees and the "traditions of the elders," not breaking with the Law at all. I confidently rejected your argument, I think, and now I feel compelled to admit that I was too hasty. Thank you for your patience :)