If you are invited to a special occasion and you are searching for Jewish gifts to offer up, then you have a lot of options to consider. Before you bring a Kosher gift, however, you may want to learn more about what Kosher exactly means.

 

In the last post, I explained what the basic laws of Kashrut are, different reasons for following them and why they are important. I also explained that the laws of Kashrut call for three separate categories: meat, dairy and pareve (neutral). In this post, for those who want a better explanation of what a Kosher gift is, I will dive down deeper into these essential categories.

 

What is Kosher meat?

 

There are different tiers of Kosher meat and it starts off with a Kosher animal. The book of Leviticus says, “Whatsoever parted the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud… that ye eat.”

 

This line is outlining the animals that Jewish people are allowed to eat. In simple English, any animal that has a split hoof and chews its food twice after sent up from its first stomach. The animals must have both of these qualities to be considered Kosher. The following are examples of Kosher animals:The following animals are NOT Kosher:

Pig

Rabbit

Squirrel

Horse

Camel

Bear

 

The quality of the animal and, thus, the meat you eat is of very high standard in the Jewish religion. For that reason, no animals of scavenger or predatory status are allowed. Furthermore, insects, worms, reptiles nor amphibians are deemed Kosher.How to slaughter Kosher animals?

 

In order to remain Kosher, animals must be properly slaughtered. The general idea is to slaughter the animals in the most humane manner possible. That means the animal is under no fear and no stress.

 

A blade, which must be sharpened to a certain degree to ensure a swift and clean cut, is used to execute the animal. The blade must hit a specific artery in the throat of the animal to ensure a quick death that is as painless as possible. During this episode, a rabbi must be present to witness the event and ensure that the animal was slaughtered accordingly. How to prepare the Kosher animal?

 

It is forbidden to consume blood in any manner. Therefore, specific steps must be taken to prepare an animal after slaughter. Immediately after the killing, the animal must be drained of the blood and soaked in salt water to ensure the evaporation of any remaining blood. In fact, those keeping Kosher must check all eggs for drops of blood and dispose of any eggs that contain blood.

 

There are certain parts of the animal that one is not allowed to consume. For example, any meat around the hide region is not allowed. Finally, in order for the meat to remain Kosher, it must continue to be prepared in a fully Kosher kitchen using only pots, dishes and utensils that are meant only for the meat products.