What Cannot be kosher?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

What Cannot be Kosher?

Kosher dietary laws are an important aspect of Jewish tradition and observance. These laws dictate what foods are permissible for consumption, and there are certain types of meat and meat products that are not considered kosher. In this answer, we will explore the various categories of meat that cannot be kosher and the reasons behind these restrictions.

1. Pork: Perhaps the most well-known example, pork is strictly prohibited in kosher dietary laws. This includes all parts of the pig, including its meat, organs, and by-products. The consumption of pork is explicitly forbidden in the Torah (Leviticus 11:7), and it is considered one of the most unclean animals in Jewish tradition.

2. Rabbits: Similar to pigs, rabbits are also not considered kosher. The Torah explicitly states that only animals that both chew their cud and have split hooves are permissible for consumption (Leviticus 11:6). Since rabbits do not possess split hooves, they are not considered kosher.

3. Squirrels: Squirrels, like rabbits, do not have split hooves and are therefore not kosher. While they may not be commonly consumed in many cultures, it is important to note that they are explicitly prohibited according to Jewish dietary laws.

4. Camels: Camels are another example of an animal that is not considered kosher. While they do possess split hooves, they do not chew their cud, which is a requirement for kosher animals. Therefore, their meat is not permissible for consumption.

5. Kangaroos: Kangaroos, being marsupials, do not fit into the categories of animals that are considered kosher. They neither chew their cud nor have split hooves, making their meat non-kosher.

6. Horses: Horses are not considered kosher for consumption. They do not have split hooves and are not mentioned in the list of kosher animals in the Torah. Therefore, their meat is not permitted according to Jewish dietary laws.

7. Predator or scavenger birds: In addition to specific types of meat, certain birds are also excluded from being kosher. Birds of prey or scavenger birds, such as eagles, owls, gulls, and hawks, are not permissible for consumption. This is due to their predatory nature and the fact that they feed on carrion.

8. Hindquarter cuts of beef: Kosher dietary laws also dictate which cuts of beef are permissible for consumption. The hindquarters of the animal, including cuts like flank, short loin, sirloin, and round, are not considered kosher. However, cuts from the forequarter, such as the shoulder and ribs, are generally acceptable.

These restrictions on what can be considered kosher stem from the specific guidelines outlined in the Torah. The laws serve to distinguish between clean and unclean animals, promoting a sense of holiness and purity in food consumption.

It is important to note that kosher dietary laws go beyond the types of meat mentioned above. They also include regulations regarding how the animal is slaughtered (shechita), the separation of meat and dairy products, and the inspection of animals for any defects or diseases. These additional guidelines ensure the highest standards of kosher observance.

The types of meat and meat products that are not considered kosher include pork, rabbits, squirrels, camels, kangaroos, and horses. Additionally, certain birds of prey or scavenger birds are excluded, along with specific cuts of beef that come from the hindquarters of the animal. These restrictions are based on the guidelines outlined in the Torah and serve to maintain the sanctity and purity of kosher dietary laws.