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Kosher Miscellaneous

Kosher Miscellaneous

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In addition to the basic kosher laws (such as the kosher species of meat and fish, and the separation of meat and dairy), there are several other kosher considerations. Here are some of them:

“Jewish Cooking”

As a rule, cooked or baked foods should be cooked or baked by Jews. Foods cooked or baked by non-Jews are not kosher, even if they contain only kosher ingredients. There are, however, exemptions from this rule:

  • As a rule, cooked or baked foods should be cooked or baked by JewsIf a Jew is involved in some way in the cooking or baking.
  • Foods that are also eaten raw, or which are not prestigious enough to “grace a king’s table.”
  • Commercially baked bread (as opposed to bread baked in a private home) may be exempt under pressing circumstances.

Read more: Baked and Cooked Foods.

Kosher Drinks

Milk:

Kosher milk must be produced under Jewish supervision, to ensure that it contains only milk from kosher animals. Where supervised milk is unavailable, some rabbinic authorities permit government inspection as sufficient assurance that it contains only cow’s milk (though not in all countries). Read more: Dairy Products.

Wine:

Wine is used for kiddush, havdalah and weddings, and was used in Holy Temple worship—but also for idolatrous purposes. For this reason, kosher wine—or port, sherry, grape juice, or any product containing grape juice or wine—must be produced and handled exclusively by Torah-observant Jews, and must bear a kosher seal to ensure that its production complied with these laws.

Cooked wine (known as mevushal), however, is not of sacramental grade, and is not affected by non-Jewish handling. Such wine is usually marked “mevushal” on its label. Read more: Wine and Grape Products.

Tithes

When buying produce in Israel, it’s best to buy from a vendor bearing reliable kosher certificationIn biblical times, the Israeli farmer would separate portions of his produce for various tithes. Today, in the absence of the Holy Temple, some of these tithes are not consumed; rather, they are disposed of in a respectful manner.

As these laws are complex, when buying produce in Israel, it’s best to buy from a vendor bearing reliable kosher certification. Exported Israeli produce is also subject to these laws, so make sure that they bear the seal of a reliable kosher agency.

Another produce-related rule is the biblical injunction against eating the fruit of a tree for the first three years after it is planted, called orlah. Outside of Israel, this prohibition applies only to fruit which one is certain is orlah.

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Barbara Niles Phoenix, Arizona June 21, 2012

To Rochel Chein Thank you for your reply. I think we sort of got our wires crossed here. I know about the "rules" regarding eating the fruit on the trees. My only thought was that even God would not want it wasted; therefore, my suggestion of giving it to a food bank. That's truly a mitzvah! My question was about the obscure "rules" for keeping kosher such as the person who cooks the food must be Jewish as well as the food being kosher. Please cite the locations in the Torah for these rules. By the way, does anyone follow them? Do you? Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org June 20, 2012

To Barbara The biblical source for orlah is in Leviticus 19:23-25:

When you come to the Land and you plant any food tree, you shall surely block its fruit [from use]; it shall be blocked from you for three years, not to be eaten. And in the fourth year, all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the L-rd. And in the fifth year, you may eat its fruit.

See www.chabad.org/k1427 for insights into the significance of the mitzvah. Reply

Barbara Niles Phoenix, AZ June 14, 2012

Another Question Where exactly in the Torah are these obscure rules located? Please cite. Is there anyone who really follows them? In regard to the leaving the fruit on the trees for three years before eating, what a waste! Why not pick the fruit and donate it to a food bank? That is truly a mitzvah. Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org June 14, 2012

Kosher meat and low-sodium While kosher meat does have more sodium than non-kosher meat, I have heard from many that kosher meat is generally fine in the context of a healthy diet. A doctor should be consulted in each individual case. Reply

Anonymous brooklyn, ny June 13, 2012

relocating a tree If I move a tree with fruit to a different spot in my garden do I have to start counting again 3 years before I eat the fruit? The tree has been there 2 years now. Reply

Benzion N. Tonawanda, NY June 13, 2012

cooking I find it hard to believe that all the canned tuna salmon and sardines and corn etc. are only cooked or handled by Jews. Reply

Anonymous Long Island, NY June 13, 2012

Kosher cooking Many restaurants that are certified kosher employ cooks who are not Jewish. Reply

Chava Carlsbad, CA June 13, 2012

Question How does one determine whether a cooked food is "prestigious enough to grace a king's table?" Reply

Anonymous Huntsville, Alabama June 12, 2012

Kosher foods. How can a person on a very low salt diet eat Kosher meats? Reply

louise leon long pond, PA June 12, 2012

kashrut Please forgive my non-kosher ways if possible. In my mind, when we refuse to break bread with others, we set ourselves apart. This can easily be interpreted that either others are not "good enough"for us to share food with or that we are "too good" to share others' food. In either scenario, this has probably prevented acceptance,tolerance and non-discriminatory feelings between ourselves and others historically..I do realize that to preserve our particular way of life, we isolate ourselves to some extent. As a limitedly observant, tho deeply spiritual Jewess, I am forever grateful that hasidism has preserved the Jewish way of life for me to continue to enjoy in my different fashion. As always, thank you for listening and helping me to figure out and appreciate who I am. Reply

Bob Rabinoff Fairfield, IA June 12, 2012

Orlah I happened to be reading Masechet Orlah when I planted an apple tree in my back yard. I didn't expect to even get any fruit the first three years, but in fact I did get a couple of apples in years 2 and 3. I felt like every day that went by and I just let them sit on the tree until they fell and began to decompose I was able to perform an agricultural mitzvah! Reply

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