A Summary Of Jewish Food Laws and Their Origins.

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A Summary Of Jewish Food Laws and Their Origins According to Jewish orthodoxy, a Jew is someone who born of a Jewish mother or someone who is within a marriage recognised by orthodoxy. A strictly observant Orthodox Jew is understood to keep many different food laws. These believe that restricting themselves in this way is a sign of their true respect and love for God. It means following the original principles set forth by the Torah (Jewish equivalent to the Holy bible). Modern Jews can think these laws are primitive health regulations now obsolete with new hygiene. However, many of the laws have nothing to do with health. These laws are known as the laws of Kashrut. Kashrut is the dealing with foods Jews can and cannot eat and how they are prepared and eaten. Kosher is the word for describing the foods permitted. Kosher is not a style of cooking but a description of those foods permitted and regime for their preparation. Any permitted food can be kosher as long as it is in accordance with Jewish law. Permitted foods can also be non-kosher if not prepared in accordance with Jewish law. Why people observe these laws? One of the laws is that meat and dairy products could not be eaten together. There is evidence that eating these together interferes with digestion and so this may be a sensible law. One main answer to this question is simply because the Torah says so.


It varies between 3 and 6 hours so a Jew must plan his/her daily meals and their times very carefully. Dishwashers are a problem with Kashrut as you either need separate dish racks or different washes for meat and then for dairy. Approximately three quarters of permitted repackaged foods have some kind of kosher certification. Here are some of the signs of widely recognised certifications. Why is it important for Jews to observe the Laws of Kashrut To the Orthodox Jews they have a covenant with God meaning that they are connected to God and so marked out as a special people. Moses gave the Ten Commandments as a basis for the rules to follow. These are linked to God so breaking them will also break your link to God. This is the view of an Orthodox Jew. Orthodoxy does not fully understand the reasons behind progressive Judaism as these Jews like and accept their part in the covenant with God but fail to keep the laws of Mitzvot. This does not make sense because being part of the covenant means keeping the laws! To a Jew it is not important that there is a reason behind any food law and they are perfectly happy following them with no reasons. Many people suggest that the laws of Kashrut fall under the category of "chukkim" meaning laws for which there are no reason. Jews follow their laws showing obedience to God by following them even though there is no reason behind them.


They have to buy double the normal amount of pots and pans to cook meat and dairy separately. If they accidentally cook either in the wrong set then those pans become non kosher and it is very complicated to get them back to being kosher again. Some Jewish households (depending how strictly orthodox) even have two ovens and fridges as well as the special set of crockery for Pesach. One advantage for a Jew is that having strict food laws reminds them "they eat to live, not live to eat". However the laws do mean a lot of extra time has to be spent on the preparation, which leaves less time for other recreational activities. For example, all vegetables must be thoroughly washed before being cooked as they may have insects or their eggs on them. Insects are a forbidden food. Another point is that animals have to properly slaughtered before being sold and then cooked. This raises the cost of meats and so adds again to the expense of kosher eating. Another and very important disadvantage is that a strictly Orthodox Jew can not go round to his/her friends house who is not Orthodox as their cooking may not be to a satisfactory degree of kosher. They may get the correct foods but could cook milk and meat together or even separately in a pan that has been used before for one or the other. The Jew can only be host for parties and that can be very expensive so again leading to a massive expense. Religious Education GCSE Coursework- Charles Hunter 0350

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