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An Understanding of “Kashrut” in the United States


According to Answers.com, the definition of Kashrut is the state of being Kosher and/or the body of Jewish dietary law. Of course, there are many more meanings to the word Kashrut or Kosher. It does not simply apply to food. It can be in the way people are treated. However, in this article I will focus on kosher foods in the United States to help make it easier to find a kosher restaurant in Los Angeles or anywhere else.

The Hebrew word Kosher, Kashrut, etc. are all different titles given to the Jewish dietary laws. In the United States and the English language, we use the word Kosher. The word actually means fit or correct, as well as suitable according to the Jewish law. Pigs are (for some reason) most notable when it comes to non-kosher foods. If an animal is not slaughtered appropriately or is killed ferociously by its predator, it is not considered kosher.

Orthodox Judaism has a much stricter way of it’s laws than Conservative Judaism does.

In the United States, there are many laws stating that it is a crime if a company says that a food is Kosher when it really is not. This law is in effect in the following states:

– Arkansas
– California
– Connecticut
– Illinois
– Kentucky
– Louisiana
– Maryland
– Massachusetts
– Minnesota
– Missouri
– New Jersey
– New York
– Ohio
– Pennsylvania
– Rhode Island
– Texas
– Virginia

It is also a law in some parts of Florida and Baltimore.

According to Answers.com, there are many restrictions placed on food for it to be labeled kosher by the Jewish law. Here are some of those restrictions.

1. Mammals that live on the land have to eat food that they chew the cud and have cloven hoofs.

2. Birds of prey are not considered kosher.

3. Fish must have fins and scales.

4. Any dairy and meat products are not to be served at the same meal, cooked using the same dishes or tools, or stored inappropriately. They cannot touch each other.

5. A trained Shochet uses a particular way to slaughter animals known as shechits. A Shochet severs the jugular, carotid artery, esophagus, and trachea in one smooth cut with a sharp knife.

6. The blood is then removed from the animal. This can be done by broiling, soaking and salting.

7. If a kitchen has been used in a non-kosher way (such as a young Jewish couple moving into a new apartment) they must boil everything in that kitchen to prepare it to become kosher.

There are many laws in Judaism that pertain to kosher foods, but it does not end at just food. It is a way of living. It is the lifestyle of the Jewish and of the Jewish law. It has come over to the United States to appropriately welcome Jews into the country. Hopefully, someday all of the states in the United States will have a law on labeling foods kosher, and hopefully there will be more kosher restaurants in the United States.

E-srael.com is the Premier Restuarant and Shopping Directory of the Israeli community in the Los Angeles area. Find more Israeli and Jewish Businesses at E-srael.com, or get reviews on Kosher Restaurants in Southern Califronia at LA’s Kosher Restaurant review Blog