Sunday, January 11, 2009

KOSHER, HALAL Comparison



Jewish dietary law, kashruth, has differences and similarities to Islamic dietary law. Understanding when kosher helps us and when it hinders us from keeping halal is key to raising awareness with manufacturers, distinguishing ourselves as a market of our own, and driving the demand for halal food products.

Alcohol
In Islam, alcohol and alcohol-derived products including (most) wine vinegars are prohibited—even when used in cooking. 

Alcohol is kosher, however, all grape products, including wines, brandies and other grape-based alcohols must be prepared under Orthodox Rabbinic supervision. For a wine to be kosher, it cannot be produced by non-Jews. All other (non-grape) alcoholic drinks can be certified kosher, so long as it contains no non-kosher ingredients and the equipment used to prepare it is inspected under the supervision of a rabbi.


Pig
In Islam, the eating or application (cosmetics, for example) of pig products (pork, gelatin, etc.) is forbidden.

In Judaism, the eating of pig products is forbidden. However, the injection (injectable collagen) or application of pig derived products is largely not forbidden. There have been recent rabbinical rulings that suggest a trend away from the religious permissibility of topical and injectable pig-derived products, however.

Blood
In Islam, the eating or drinking of blood that has flowed from flesh is prohibited. A slaughtered animal must be thoroughy exsanguinated (drained of all flowing blood). Accordingly, while preparing meat for cooking, Muslims routinely wash raw meat, soaking it in a solution of vinegar and water, or water and salt, to further draw out surface blood from the meat.

For meat to be kosher, all blood and large blood vessels must be removed from the meat. This is most commonly done by soaking and salting, but also can be done by a special broiling process. The hindquarters of a mammal are not kosher unless the sciatic nerve and the fat surrounding it are removed. 

Cheeses
Islam has no prohibition against mixing meat and dairy products. Cheese is allowed in the Muslim diet. However, Muslims concerned with the slaughter of the calf from which the rennet came may choose to eat kosher or vegetarian cheeses to avoid doubtful areas.

For any cheese to be kosher, whether or not it is made with GM, microbial or animal rennet, it must be "Jewish cheese" (gevinat Yisrael) – cheese produced by a Jew or by a Jewish owned company.
1) Contrary to common knowledge, the use of animal rennet in cheesemaking does not go against the kashrut prohibition against eating meat and dairy together.
2) Rabbinical opinions differ as to whether animal rennet must come from a kosher-slaughtered calf.[1, 3]

Dead Meat
Islamic and Jewish both prohibit the eating of dead meat. It is forbidden to eat the meat from an animal that died of illness, a blow, by trapping, or a natural death, or any animal killed in any manner other than by slaughter or the hunt (not permissible in Judaism).[4] 

Insects
Islam prohibits eating insects, except for the Arabian locust. Vegetables must be washed to remove insects. 

Eating insects violates 3-6 laws of the Torah; so it is a greater sin than the consumption of pork in Jewish law.[5] However, as in Islam, certain sub-species of locust are kosher. To be kosher, vegetables, especially leafy vegetables must be checked for insect infestation.

Mixing Meat and Milk Products
Islam does not forbid the eating of meat and dairy in the same meal. 

Jewish dietary law forbids: 1) cooking meat and milk together in any form; 2) eating such cooked products, or 3) deriving benefit from them. As a safeguard, the Rabbis extended this prohibition to disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal or preparing them with the same utensils. Milk products cannot be consumed after eating meat, for a period of time. Most customs say to wait six hours. Prior to eating meat after dairy, one must eat a solid food, either drink a liquid or thoroughly rinse one’s mouth, and check the cleanliness of ones hands.

Slaughter
In both zabiha and shechita, the Islamic and Jewish methods of slaughter, the animal must be in good health and fully conscious. Before either zabiha or shechita occurs, the slaughterer recites a blessing, saying: 

Islamic zabiha: "Bismillah, hal raHmaan ar-raHeem (In the Name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful)."

Jewish shechita: "Blessed are You... Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning slaughtering."[6]

Both must use an extremely sharp knife and swiftly, and with enough depth, cut through the major veins of the neck. Lastly, for the meat to be halal or kosher, the animal must be drained of all flowing blood. 

Utensils
Islam does not mandate seperate utensils. Utensils previously used to prepare pork or another haram substance must be thoroughly washed while the Islamic statement of faith (shehadah) spoken.

A kosher kitchen must have two different sets of utensils, one for meat and poultry and the other for dairy foods. There must be separate, distinct sets of pots, pans, plates and silverware.

A comparative list of kosher and halal animals


ANIMAL
KOSHER7
HALAL
 NOTES
Antelope
Yes
Yes

Boar
No
No

Buffalo
Yes
Yes

Camel
No
Yes

Cephalopods
octopus, squid, cuttlefish
No
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other Sunni Traditions.

Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Cow
Yes
Yes

Crustaceans
crab, lobster, crawfish
No
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other Sunni Traditions.

Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Deer
Yes
Yes

Donkey
No
No

Frog
No
No

Goat
Yes
Yes

Horse
No
Yes*
Horse meat is considered makrouh tanzih (Shafa'i) and makrouh tahreem (Malaki, Hanbali, Hanafi).
Insects
carmine, shellac, cheese mites
No*
No*
The Arabian locust is both halal and kosher.
Ostrich
No
Yes

Pig
swine, boar
No
No

Predators, Air
hawk, owl, falcon
No
No

Predators, Land
bear, dog, alligator, snake
No
No

Predators, Sea
No
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other Sunni Traditions.
Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Scavengers, Carrion Eaters
buzzards, raccoon, worms
No
No*
Scavenging sea creatures are permitted.
Sheep
Yes
Yes

Shellfish
mussels, clams, oysters
No
Yes*
Sunni: Hanafi fiqh split on its legality. Halal in all other Sunni Traditions.
Shi'a: Not halal in Jafari.
Snails
No
No

Zebra
No
Yes



Related Topics:
What is the size of the U.S. Market for halal products
Kosher: Under-serving Muslim Consumers
What are the advantages to producing halal foods for companies already producing kosher foods?
What are the halal animals?
What are the haram animals?
What is zabiha?
How does AMNA judge foods containing meat?
BLOOD: In Islam, it's Haram

References:
[1] Gordimer, Rabbi A. "How is Cheese Made Kosher?" AskMoses.com reprinted from OUKosher.org. (Retrieved: March 26, 2009)
http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/555,2097191/How-is-cheese-made-kosher.html
[2] Wikipedia: Kashruth : Vegetarianism. (Retrieved March 26, 2009) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashruth#Vegetarianism
[3] "Wikipedia: Kashruth : How Kashrut is viewed by contemporary Judaism. (Retrieved March 26, 2009)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashruth#How_kashrut_is_viewed_by_contemporary_Judaism
[4] Luban, Rabbi Yaakov "The Kosher Primer," The OU website: http://oukosher.org/index.php/common/article/the_kosher_primer/P1/
[5] Positive Mitzvah #151: Searching for the prescribed signs in grasshoppers. Leviticus 11.21
[6] Hecht, Rabbi Mendy. "What is kosher meat?" Ask Moses.com. http://www.askmoses.com/article/553,2193106/What-is-kosher-meat.html
[7] Hecht, Rabbi Mendy. "What are kosher animals?" Ask Moses.com. http://www.askmoses.com/article/277,180/What-are-kosher-animals.html

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