Leviticus 9:1-11:47 Shemini
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In Judaism, Kashrut (kosher) is the set of dietary laws governing what can or cannot be consumed. These laws are based upon the Torah and the Talmud. According to Jewish law, mammals that both chew their cud (ruminate) and have cloven hooves are kosher. Animals with one characteristic but not the other (the camel, the hyrax and the hare because they have no cloven hooves, and the pig because it does not ruminate) are specifically excluded (Leviticus 11:38). Jews are forbidden from eating pork, as swine are considered to be unclean. In the context of Judaism, the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy from the Hebrew Bible specify what must not be consumed.
The Book of Leviticus states:
Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
Mice are forbidden "crawling creatures" (Leviticus 11:29).
Bats are forbidden (Leviticus 11:19).
These are the animals considered to be unclean according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:
Crabs are considered unclean because they have "neither fins nor scales".
It should be noted that the translations of some of the aforementioned animals from the Hebrew are a matter of dispute in classical Jewish commentaries. With respect to birds the Torah only specifies ones which may not be eaten and the translations of these are also a matter of contention in traditional Jewish texts so it is common practice to eat only birds with a clear tradition of being kosher, eg. domestic fowl.
Many additional animals are not mentioned specifically by name, but from the characteristics mentioned in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, may also be considered to be unclean.
For example, all shellfish are generally considered unclean.
Leviticus 11:2023 permits certain kinds of "winged swarming things" (i.e. insects) while prohibiting others; however, today rabbis are uncertain as to which insects were specifically permitted, so now all insects are prohibited to be on the safe side. An exception to this is a number of Yemenite communities that have retained their own traditions with respect to kosher locusts. As a result these particular locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) are considered kosher for the specific community which has the tradition.
Bees' honey is, however, considered kosher because the honey is not made by bees, but is rather collected Nectar and concentrated by bees. There are no exceptions to the rule that any product of a non-kosher animal is also non-kosher, for example gelatin.
In order to eat an animal or bird it must be slaughtered according to Jewish law (Shechita). This involves cutting the animal's trachea and esophagus, the carotid artery and jugular vein are also severed in this operation as are most arteries and veins leading to and from the brain with a sharp knife that has been thoroughly checked for imperfections beforehand. The cut must be swift and without pause, to avoid tearing, and must be performed by an expert.
Fish and Locusts must be killed before allowed to be eaten, but no particular method has been specified in Jewish law.
The animal must then be determined to be free of treifot which are 70 different categories of injuries, diseases and abnormalities whose presence renders the animal non-kosher.
Not all parts of the animal may be eaten; certain fats, known as Chelev, may not be eaten. As much blood as possible must be removed from the meat, either by soaking, salting and rinsing or by broiling over a fire. In addition the sciatic nerve in each leg and the fat surrounding the nerve must be removed.
It is forbidden to cook, eat, or derive any benefit from mixtures of milk and meat (and their by-products). It is also forbidden to cook or eat dairy products together with poultry as a rabbinic injunction against mixing milk and meat.
Examples of Kosher animals
This list contains animals which, while not specified in the Hebrew Bible, are considered to be clean, based on characteristics described in Leviticus 11.
Antelope (all species)
Deer (all species)
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