Are halal and kosher the same thing?

Many meats are labeled halal, which makes them okay for Muslims to consume, and many Muslims rely on kosher certification to inform them that meat is halal, but halal does not equal kosher. Here’s why:

● All kosher meat must be slaughtered by a G‑d-fearing Jew who is trained in the art of shechitah (ritual slaughter) (Read: What Is a Shochet?).

● That’s right, shechitah is an art, with very specific regulations laid out in the Talmud and the codes of Jewish law. Even the slightest wrong move and the animal is treif, forbidden (Read: What Is Shechitah?).

● Kosher slaughter must be done with a special knife, called a chalef, which is sharpened to perfection, ensuring a smooth and seamless cut (Read: How Is Shechitah Done?).

● Kosher animals undergo a rigorous post-mortem inspection to determine that they were fit and healthy up until the moment of slaughter. This process is called bedikah (Read: Kosher Inspection).

● There are certain parts of animals that Jews are forbidden to eat. These parts must be removed in a process known as nikur (Read: Removal).

● Kosher meat is salted (or koshered), a procedure that removes all blood from the meat (Read: Salting Meat).

● Kosher meat is produced under the watchful eye of a mashgiach, a supervisor who verifies that everything conforms to Jewish law. Kosher supervision and certification also ensure that nothing non-kosher has been added to the product (Read: What Is a Mashgiach?).

● Kosher food must be processed on equipment that does not contain the slightest trace of non-kosher food (Read: Koshering Appliances).

Read What Is Kosher? to familiarize yourself with this crucial part of Jewish life and tradition.