Matthew 15:1 to 25, When the Pharisees blamed his disciples for eating without previously washing their hands, Jesus argued that whatever enters the mouth does not defile man, but that defiles him which goes out of the mouth. The same is said in Mark 7 from the beginning to verse 24. If that were true, why should the Law of Moses prohibit us from eating certain unclean things? See also Leviticus 11:8, "And ye shall not defile yourselves with them [viz. the unclean animals] lest ye grow unclean through them." This shows, that a certain class of food is considered by Divine authority as impure and unlawful. By what right then did Jesus dare to contradict the law, and to absolve his Jewish followers from prohibited meats? If unclean food did not defile the mouth of the eater, why did the Apostles forbid the eating of blood and of the flesh of strangled animals? And did not Adam commit a sin, even according to the belief of the Christians, by the act of eating of that of which he was enjoined not to eat? How much strong drink is able to defile the soul of man is early demonstrated in Scripture, as we learn from the history of Noah and Lot. While on the other hand the expression of Jesus that words coming out of the mouth of man alone defile him, is subject to great limitation. For all praises and thanksgiving offered up to the Almighty, as well as all wise, moral and social converse do not defile the soul.The ritual hand-washing is not the same as the hygenic hand-washing that we do before we eat. When the disciples ate with unwashed hands, this does not mean that their hands were dirty. It just means that they did not perform the ceremonial hand-washing that the Pharisees prescribed. Biblically, there is no mandate for hand-washing, except for the priests.
The Lord said to Moses, “You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it, with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the Lord, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die. They shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they may not die. It shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his offspring throughout their generations.” (Exodus 30:17-21)
The only other reference in the Pentateuch to hand-washing is in Deuteronomy 21, as part of a ritual for unsolved murders. Leviticus 11:8, by the way, means something quite different than what Troki is implying. The chapter lists the clean and unclean animals, suggesting that you should not eat pork because it will defile you and you will grow unclean through it. The remedy if one touches an unclean carcass is to wash with water and be ritually impure until evening. Rabbinic tradition does not interpret this as washing the hands, but washing the whole body in a mikvah.
This passage does not state that Jesus has absolved any law about kosher foods. It simply states that the Pharisees had a custom to perform something like the priestly washing before meals, probably something similar to the ritual hand-washing that Orthodox Jews do before eating bread.
Nowhere is this prescribed in the Torah. It is an additional commandment that the Pharisees added in order to democratize the Priestly function. With Hellenism threatening to destroy Jewish culture, the Pharisees added additional restraints to prevent assimilation. These added rituals exist to this day. Ever wonder why Orthodox Jews dip their bread in salt on the Sabbath table? It's because the Sabbath table is supposed to function as an image of the sacrificial altar.
J.P. Holding of Tektonics has a simpler solution. "These words alter or ignore no Jewish law; they merely stress the obvious point that it is the disobedience, not the food itself, that is the essence of the violation."
Also from Holding:
One Skeptic accuses Jesus of ignoring his own guilt in lawbreaking with a "you do it too" excuse. But Jesus is not breaking the OT law; he is violating a "tradition of the elders" - part of the Pharasaic oral law, or code of interpretation, not the actual law. Jesus' own reply is a typical rabbinic response which points out that his accusers are guilty of a greater offense, which is a violation of the clear law (to honor one's parents) for the sake of a lesser interpretation of the law (Corban).The context clearly indicates that Jesus was using "defilement" to mean sin. It is not ritual impurity that makes someone a sinner. It is what that person says that God will judge.
Attempts to interpret the law after this fashion resulted in peculiarities: For example, one could borrow something as long as they did not ask to borrow it (for that would constitute a transaction, and hence work); one could put out a lamp to save one's life, but not merely to turn it off to save oil; a man could not put vinegar on his tooth for a toothache, but he could put vinegar on his food -- and if he happened to get relief from that, it was OK.