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All You Need to Know about Kosher Dietary Laws

Kosher dietary laws are also known as Jewish dietary laws. These constitute a set of biblical restrictions on what food to eat and what not to eat, how food should be prepared, why certain foods have to be separated, and so on. These laws have a significant impact on the lives of the Jewish people.

In the book “To Be a Jew”, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin says that these dietary restrictions are made as a call to holiness. By imposing rules on restricting the food – is a kind of self-control. Donin also says that the Jewish dinner table is often compared with the Temple altar in rabbinic literature.

Land mammals: According to the law, all land mammals (Cattle, sheep, goat etc) that have cloven hooves and chews are considered kosher (permitted) and the animals that lack any one of these qualities are considered forbidden (Camel, the hare, pig, etc.)

Sea Foods: Individuals can eat any kind of sea animals that contain fins and scales. Example: fishes like tuna, carp, salmon etc. And the animals like shellfishes that are forbidden

Birds: Kosher dietary laws provided the list of forbidden birds but it didn’t specified reason for the prohibition. Example: chicken, geese, ducks etc are kosher birds and whereas eagle, owl, swan, etc. are forbidden.

Kosher Slaughter: In Jewish dietary law, ritual slaughter is known as shechitah. The person who performs the slaughtering process is called a shocet. They will cut the throat of the kosher animal with a sharp blades with no nicks and unevenness. After the slaughtering, blood should be drained completely within seventy two hours either by broiling or soaking or salting. This is done because life of animal is present in the blood.

And they are also restriction on eating the sciatic nerve that surrounds the blood vessel and the fat that surrounds the vital organs and the liver.

Fruits and vegetables: All the fruits and vegetables are considered kosher. But there is a restriction that if they contain bugs, they need to be considered forbidden. As strawberries, raspberries, leafy vegetables, flowery vegetables are more prone to the bugs, they are considered forbidden.

Utensils: In general, a kosher household has two sets of utensils – one set for meat and the another set for diary. This is because the law prohibits on cooking and eating the meat and diary together. If you cook or eat the meat, it carries the status of meat to the next food (milk).

Stove tops and sinks: They use separate spoon rests and trivets when they resting the things on stove top. This prevent the contact of meat and diary. And they use dishpan for cleaning the vessels without soaking directly in the sink.

And others: They use separate dish racks, towels and pot holders to prevent the contact of meat and diary.

Updated: March 11, 2014 — 5:54 am
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