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Food Laws In the Jewish Tradition.

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Introduction

The Law for Jewish people and food is told in Leviticus "These are the animals which you may eat.... Anything which has a completely split hoof and chews the cud, this you may eat..." (Leviticus 11: 2-3) This quote means that only animals that have a complete split between their hooves and chew the cud are allowed to be eaten by Jews. This includes cows, sheep, chicken, goose, cod, plaice and winged insects that hop e.g. locusts. These foods are known as kosher foods. Kosher translates to fitting or appropriate food which a Jewish person is allowed to eat. When you are Kashrut, you are in a state of keeping the kosher rules. It is also the study of the laws relating to kosher food. Treifah is the opposite of kosher, and translates to "Torn". There are then parve foods. Parve foods are "neutral" foods such as bread, fruit, vegetables and soft drinks. They are neither meat nor dairy. These foods can be eaten with kosher dairy or meat products. "The blood is the life" (Deuteronomy 12:23) ...read more.

Middle

There are many strict rules about this. Jewish kitchens are laid out in two different parts: meat and dairy. Work surfaces will only be used for one or the other before completely cleaning it. Some families have 2 cookers, and most have 2 sinks. This means that the plates aren't washed together. If families have dishwashers then they must only load either things used with meat, or with the dairy. With fridges and freezers, meat and dairy can be kept together as kosher does not affect cold foods. If mistakes are made, for example spilling milk on a meat, then the Jewish person consults the rabbi who tells them if their food and utensils are still kosher. My sister spilled some milk on our chicken, and we had to cook a new chicken as the rabbi said the first one wasn't kosher. We must also wait from 2-6 hours between meat and dairy meals, which can be awkward. When we go shopping we look out for the hechsher symbol on tins and other foods. This tells us whether the product is kosher or not. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, though, if I go to a friend's house I cannot stay for dinner as they have not prepared the food for me, not that I would expect them to. When I go out with my friends they always go to McDonalds. I cannot eat here though as the food is not cooked in the right laws of Jewish religion. At school I have to take a packed lunch too as the food is not fitting to Jewish laws either. And whenever I eat I must say a prayer, even if it is in my head. This also takes time, but it is my religion. A serious problem is that medicines that are in capsule form have gelatine in them, and this is made from crushed animal bones, and obviously I cannot take them. However, if it really is urgent that I take these medicines, for instance if it was a life or death situation, then the food rules are put to one side for that moment. Many restaurants are also not kosher. Some do though have a license from the rabbinical authority, and they can serve meat or dairy foods, but never both. ...read more.

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