Chelm.org's Kashrut Class - Permitted Meat
-> l2 - allowed meat
Lesson II - Permissible and unpermissible meat
IV. Permissible and unpermissible meat
One of the major limitations on meat is the limitation to "pure"
animals for meat. Animals are divided into four major categories
Oral Law states that only products (milk, eggs, etc.) from clean animals
can be eaten. This means sturgeon caviar is considered
by the Conservative but not by the Orthodox. There are two exceptions
to this rule. These are :
- Mammals - Mammals must have both cloven hooves and chew their cud.
This includes many domesticated animals including cows, goats and sheep.
It also include a few non-domesticated animals as in many types of
deer and even giraffes. If they have one but not the other they are
not clean. Specifically mentioned in this category are pigs, camels,
rabbits, and the rock coney.
- Fish - fish must have both fins and scales. To have one without
the other renders the fish unclean. This means many commonly eaten
water animals such as shellfish, crab, shrimp, lobster, shark, marlin,
unkosher. I refer you to the
guide in your book for a complete list. There are two fish worth
mentioning. These are swordfish and sturgeon. Both of these fish have
scales as young fish, but lose them later in life. The Orthodox say
these two fish are
for this reason, the Conservative
permits them to be eaten.
- Insects - The Torah lists four types of locust that are considered
As Hertz says in his commentary on Leviticus 11:22, "None of the four
kinds of locust mentioned is certainly known. For this reason also,
later Jewish authorities, realizing that it is impossible to avoid
errors being made declare every species of locust to be forbidden."
I can only think forgetting which locust were meant was more than
- Birds - The
of birds is tricky. The Torah only lists certain birds as being
and the Oral Law does not expand it. The
birds include chicken, turkey, duck, goose, dove, and pheasant. The
Rabbis deduced four rules on what makes up a
Most Orthodox subscribe to these rules. There are some groups who as a
will only eat those birds listed in the Torah. As a result while most
Orthodox will eat turkey, these Orthodox will not.
- It is not a bird of prey.
- It does not have a front toes (or tearing talon)
- It must have a craw and a double lined stomach that is easily separated.
- It can catch food thrown in the air, but it must lay it down and
tear it with its beak before eating.
While eggs are considered
, it should be pointed out that unlaid (bird) eggs are considered meat.
- Honey - which is mentioned specifically in the Torah, and
- Mother's milk - for logical reasons
-> l2 - allowed meat
Last updated on Aug 9, 1999 at 4:57 PM
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copyright 1999 - Steven Ross Weintraub