"Ah this is the real freedom," said Eli to his friend, Simon, as he kicked off his shoes and relaxed on the couch after dinner that night. It was a few days after the festival of Passover had ended and school had not yet begun.

"Ha, ha," Simon chuckled, "no homework, no school tomorrow. I agree with you, this is the real deal."

Eli looked up at the ceiling and wondered why all of life could not be this easy. After the last few days of hectic cleaning up after the holiday, now at last he could relax. The trouble is, if you lie still, relaxing, you get bored…

"Let's go and buy a Coke or something," suggested Simon.

"Good idea!" said Eli, and he jumped up and soon they were on the way down the street.

"I want to get some of these," Simon said, pointing at some chocolate covered peanuts. "They look so mmm... good!"

"Let's see," said Eli, looking at the wrapper, trying to find a kosher certification symbol.

"Uh oh," said Eli, "it looks like we can't have these. It doesn't say anywhere on the package that it is kosher."

"What do you mean?" asked Simon, disappointed. "What could be wrong with some peanuts?"

"Look here" said Eli, pointing at the list of ingredients. It says here that it has animal fat."

"The animal fat isn't necessarily from a kosher animal," explained Eli. "And even if it were, it hasn't been slaughtered and koshered properly. So we cannot buy food which has animal fat in it. At least, that is what the Rabbi said is in the Torah portion class this week."

"I guess you're right," said Simon, sighing. "But why all the fuss? What's the difference between a kosher and non-kosher animal anyways - did the Rabbi tell you that too?"

Simon went to a non-Jewish school, so his knowledge of Judaism was not as good as Eli's, who went to the local Jewish school.

"Basically it's animals that chew the cud and have split hooves that are kosher—like cows and sheep. Animals that don't have both of these signs are non-kosher."

"But pigs have split hooves!" exclaimed Simon. "Why do people always say that pigs are not kosher?"

"Because they are not," said Eli. "They do have split hooves, but they don't chew their cud, so they are not kosher. G‑d says that all non-kosher animals are impure for us to eat. And even kosher animals, like cows and sheep, have to be slaughtered in the right way, by a Jewish shochet, and then cleaned and koshered with salt, to get out the blood... It's a whole thing. It's about being Jewish…"

"Okay, I get the point," said Simon, and he put the chocolate peanuts packet back on the shelf. "We're going to have to make you in a kosher style someday!" he said waving his finger at the packet.

Eli just laughed. "They probably do already," he said. "Come, let's buy something else and go play Monopoly."