The Hebrew word kashrut means “ritual suitability” and refers to the Jewish dietary laws. These dictate how to prepare, store, and eat food and how to slaughter animals that are permitted for consumption. Foods that are permitted to eat under kashrut are “kosher.” Non-kosher foods are known as treyf.
Slaughtering and Eating Animals
For example, land animals are kosher if they chew their cud and have cloven hooves. That category includes cows and sheep. Permitted animals must also be slaughtered according to specific rules. By this definition, however, pigs are not kosher. Animals that live in water can only be eaten if they have fins and scales. For this reason, shrimp and squid are non-kosher, as are eels, which lost their fins in their evolution.
Separating Milk and Meat
Another rule applies to the way milk and meat are prepared and eaten. The Torah says not to cook a kid-goat in its mother's milk. Based on this commandment, kashrut forbids storing, preparing, or eating dairy products and meat products together. Foods that are neither "meaty" (basari) nor "milky" (chalavi) are considered neutral (parve) and may be eaten with any meal.
Dishes for Certain Holidays
Many traditional dishes are associated with holidays and are only eaten then. On other holidays, particular foods must be avoided; on Passover, for example, bread may only be eaten if it was prepared without yeast or sourdough.
Dialogical Lecture Series: Kosher to Go – Perspectives on Religious Food Regulations (5)
Kosher to Go – Perspectives on Religious Food Regulations
In the dialogical lecture series, Jewish dietary laws are considered in relation to the dietary rules of other world religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) and interpreted using perspectives from anthropology, ethnology, and the sociology of food. In this way, the origins and functions of dietary rules are examined up to the present day.
The Kitchen as a Substitute Sanctuary? Modern Debates Around Eating
With Kathrin Burger (science journalist and author) and Jonathan Schorsch (University of Potsdam)
25 Nov 2021
Do you eat Insects? – Forbidden Animals In Judaism and Hinduism
With Dr. Syed (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich) and Dr. Mattern (University of Tübingen), in German
30 Sep 2021
Between Sanction and Sanctification – Alcohol in Judaism and Christianity
With Jordan D. Rosenblum (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and David Grumett (University of Edinburgh), in German
22 Jun 2021
Kosher and Halal – Animal Slaughter in Judaism and Islam
With Aaron S. Gross (University of San Diego) and Serdar Kurnaz (Humboldt University of Berlin), in German
19 May 2021
Holy Food and Drink – Why Do Dietary Rules Exist?
With Prof. Kikuko Kashiwagi-Wetzel (Kansai University von Osaka) and Prof. David Kraemer (Jewish Theological Seminary of America), in English and German
22 Apr 2021