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Keeping Kosher In The 21st Century

2249 words - 9 pages

AbstractThis paper will investigate the origins of keeping kosher by accessing the Internet and books. It will explore why and how the rules of kashrus are followed. It will consider some common misconceptions and dismiss them. The advance and popularity of kosher food has spawned business growth, and makes keeping kosher in the 21st century very accessible and easyKeeping Kosher in the 21st CenturyWhat is kosher? I have heard different answers. Many non-Jewish and some Jewish people believe that food that is certified kosher has some how been "blessed" by a rabbi or given some higher spiritual plane. Some believe if there is no pork then it is ok. Some believe if dairy and meat are not mixed then it is kosher. What we will find out today is, what kosher is and dispel any of the myths about kosher and see that it is easier than has been to keep kosher in the 21st century.Kosher is defined in the Torah (the Old Testament) as meaning proper or suitable when referring to the way and what we eat. The Torah details which animals, bird, seafood, and even insects are kosher and which are not. The laws of keeping kosher have been in effect for approximately 3000 years. Jewish scholars have interpreted, studied, extrapolated, and expounded upon the laws that are in the Torah. They have used that as a foundation to build a concise code of laws that are contained as one section in the Shulchan Arauch (code of Jewish Law), written by Rabbi Yosef Caro, one of the chief Rabbis in Israel in the fifteenth century. From then through till now the top halachic (Torah authorities) are constantly discussing, interpreting, and honing these laws as they apply in our time. Whole works and volumes have been dedicated to just this subject alone, more than enough to fill a nice library.Health factors have been attributed to the kosher laws. Some are because there was no refrigeration 3000 years ago the pork would be bad and you should not eat it. Dairy and meat products don't digest well together or removing the blood is healthier. While their ideas seem sound and may have some basis in fact, the main purpose for the laws of kashrus is to be willing to listen to the word of G-d. The Torah contains several categories of laws or commandments. Some are clear and we can understand the reason; don't kill, for example. These are called mishpatim, judgments. Others however seem a bit more mystical or even somewhat out of left field; these are call chukim, statutes. Kashrus is one of those laws.Many different factors go into food if it is to be kosher. The type of meat, the way it was slaughtered, the preparation, the utensils, and even combinations of foods can make a product non-kosher.Let's start with the carnivore in all of us; what constitutes kosher meat? The Torah in Leviticus Chapter 11 enumerates on the special characteristics of animals. Specifically they must have a split or cloven hoof and chew their cud. Examples of these animals are cattle, sheep, deer, buffalo,...

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