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Kosher inDepth

TheHebrew native "kosher" literally means "acceptable." Foodsthat are allowed by the Torah and also prepared acdearteassociazione.orgding come Jewish regulation arekosher. Below are several of the basic principles that make up the kosher dietarylaws.


1. Animals

TheTorah (Leviticus 11:3) lists the attributes of permitted animals as thosewith fully split hooves, who likewise chew your cud (ruminants). Kosher animalsare constantly mammals and also herbivores. The kosher animals commonly eaten today arethe cow, goat and also sheep -- and sometimes deer and also buffalo.

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2. Birds

TheTorah enumerates 24 forbidden species of birds, and also the Talmud describes that,among various other signs, every birds of prey (vulture, hawk, eagle) room forbidden. Inpractice today, us eat just those birds for which over there is one establishedtradition that the bird is kosher -- e.g. Chicken, turkey, duck and also goose.

Asfor "kosher eggs," they must come from a varieties of kosher bird (e.g.chicken).

3. Fish

TheTorah (Leviticus 11:9) teaches that a kosher fish need to possess both fin andscales. (Fins assist the fish swim, and also scales are a extending over the body.)Even if the fish has only one range or one fin, the is permitted. Tuna, forexample, have actually very couple of scales, yet is kosher. Other well-known kosher fish arebass, carp, cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, trout and also salmon.

Crustaceans(such as lobster and also crab) and other shellfish (such as clams) space not kosher,because they lack scales. Further, all aquatic mammals (e.g. Whales anddolphins) space not kosher.

Andyes, there space kosher ranges of sushi and caviar -- providing it"s from akosher species (fins and scales), and that it was prepared just with kosherutensils (knife, cut board, etc.).

4. Insects

Manyare surprised to uncover that four species of grasshoppers are kosher(Leviticus 11:22). However, all various other insects room not kosher. One can thinkthat this has tiny practical applications to our modern-day eating habits. However intruth, plenty of leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli) frequently contain insects and also mustbe very closely examined before they can be eaten. Some fruits favor raspberriesand strawberry are additionally problematic. Rabbis have actually developed certain methodsto properly inspect these fruits and also vegetables because that insects.


1. Shechita

Besidesbeing from a kosher species, kosher meat requires that the animal/bird beslaughtered in the manner prescribed through the Torah (Shechita). (Fish donot have this requirement.) In this procedure, a trained kosher slaughterer (shochet)severs the trachea and also esophagus of the animal with a special razor-sharpknife. This also severs the jugular vein, leading to near-instantaneous fatality withminimal pain come the animal.

2. Bedika

Afterthe animal/bird has actually been properly slaughtered, its inner organs room inspectedfor any physiological abnormalities that may render the animal non-kosher (treif).The lungs, in particular, should be check to identify that there are noadhesions (sirchot) which may be indicative of a puncture in the lungs.

3. Nikkur

Animalscontain countless veins (e.g. Gid HaNashe) and also fats (chelev) that areforbidden through the Torah and must be removed. The procedure of removal is called"Nikkur," and it is rather complex. In exercise today, the hindquarter of many kosher pets is just removed and also sold as non-kosher meat.

4. Salting

TheTorah forbids eating of the blood that an animal or bird (Leviticus 7:26); fishdo not have actually this requirement. Therefore in order come extract the blood, the entiresurface of meat should be spanned with rough circuit salt. That is then left because that an houron an skinny or perforated surface ar to permit the blood to flow down freely.The meat is then extensively washed to remove all salt. Meat have to be kosheredwithin 72 hours after slaughter so as no to allow the blood come congeal. (Analternate means of remove the blood is through broiling top top a perforated grateover an open up fire.)


1. Meat and Milk

TheTorah forbids eat meat and also milk in combination, and even forbids the plot ofcooking them together (as well together deriving advantage from together a mixture). Together asafeguard, the Sages disallow the eating of meat and also dairy commodities at the samemeal, or preparing them v the very same utensils. Therefore, a kosher kitchenmust have actually two different sets that pots, pans, plates and silverware -- one formeat/poultry and the various other for dairy foods.

Onemust wait approximately six hrs after eat meat products before eating dairyproducts. However, meat may be consumed following dairy assets (with theexception of hard cheese, which also requires a six-hour interval). Former toeating meat after dairy, one need to eat a solid food and the mouth need to berinsed.

2. Chalav Yisrael

ARabbinic regulation requires that there be supervision throughout the milking procedure toensure the the milk comes from a kosher animal. In north America, countless peoplerely ~ above the room of Agriculture"s regulations and controls assufficiently stringent to satisfy the rabbinic requirement for supervision. Some,however, carry out not rely on this, and will just eat dairy assets that space designatedas Chalav Yisrael (literally, "Jewish milk").

3. Bishul Akum

Bishul Akum is a Hebrew ax meaning, "cookedby a non-Jew." together a rabbinic safeguard against assimilation, certain foodscooked by a non-Jew are taken into consideration not kosher. While the details that this laware many, the straightforward rule is that any cooked food which: 1) might not have actually beeneaten raw, and also 2) is important enough to be served at a an elaborate meal table, maynot be consumed if cooking by a non-Jew.

Ifa Jew assists with lighting the fire or the cooking, the food may be eaten evenif it to be cooked by a non-Jew (assuming, the course, the the food chin waskosher in every other way).


1. Grains

Inkeeping kosher, over there is a grain-related issue called Chadash and also Yashan-- precise "new" and "old." The Torah (Leviticus 23:14)says that if a grain (such as wheat) was harvested prior to Passover,then we may not eat the grain until after (the 2nd day of) Passover.

Thismeans the we have actually two type of grain: grain that hasn"t celebrated its firstPassover is (temporarily) forbidden together Chadash, when grain that hasbeen approximately long sufficient to currently have a Passover under its belt is Yashan,and allowed to eat.

Anothergrain-related issue is Challah. (This is not to be perplexed with the braidedbread that we eat ~ above Shabbat.) when one kneads a far-reaching amount the dough(over 2.5 pounds) because that baking purposes, a small section of the dough is removedand burned. (In the time of the divine Temple, this part was given to aKohen.) when challah has been separated from the bigger dough, the dough is"kosher" for baking into bread or other items.

2. Fruits

Fruitthat grows during the first three year after a tree is planted is referred to as Orlahand is not kosher to be eaten. This law uses to trees both in Israel and theDiaspora. If you plant a fruit tree in her backyard, you can not eat the fruitfor 3 years, and there is a unique procedure come render the fruitpermissible come eat in the 4th year. (Consult through a rabbi.)

3. Israeli Produce

Trumah and Maaser space terms forvarious tithes that use to Israeli-grown produce, to be provided to the Kohenand Levi. Untithed foods are dubbed Tevel and are not kosher come beeaten. If you"re visiting Israel, or also if you"re purchase Israeli oranges ortomatoes in your neighborhood supermarket, you must make sure that ideal titheshave been taken from every grains, fruits and vegetables.

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TheTorah (Leviticus ch. 25) says that every seven years, farming work mustcease in the floor of Israel. This is called Shmita -- the seventh,sabbatical year. Develop that grow on land that was "farmed andworked" during the saturday year is not kosher. Today, through the return of aJewish farming industry to Israel, the legislations related to Shmita areonce again an extremely relevant. So if you"re to buy Israeli produce, make sure thelaws that Shmita were properly observed.