It’s All Kosher in Salvation Time
Chances are, most people have heard the term “kosher” whether Jewish or Gentile. However, it’s a safe bet that most Gentiles are unaware of what the term means and why kosher is good for everyone. So for those who don’t know, let’s first define kosher. From Judaism 101:
Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten. “Kashrut” comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct. It is the same root as the more commonly known word “kosher,” which describes food that meets these standards. The word “kosher” can also be used, and often is used, to describe ritual objects that are made in accordance with Jewish law and are fit for ritual use.
Contrary to popular misconception, rabbis or other religious officials do not “bless” food to make it kosher. There are blessings that observant Jews recite over food before eating it, but these blessings have nothing to do with making the food kosher. Food can be kosher without a rabbi or priest ever becoming involved with it: the vegetables from your garden are undoubtedly kosher (as long as they don’t have any bugs, which are not kosher!). However, in our modern world of processed foods, it is difficult to know what ingredients are in your food and how they were processed, so it is helpful to have a rabbi examine the food and its processing and assure kosher consumers that the food is kosher. This certification process is discussed below.
Kosher dietary laws are observed all year round, not just during Pesach (Passover). There are additional dietary restrictions during Pesach, and many foods that are kosher for year-round use are not “kosher for Passover.” A bagel, for example, can be kosher for year-round use but is certainly not kosher for Passover! Foods that are kosher for Passover, however, are always kosher for year-round use.
There is no such thing as “kosher-style” food. Kosher is not a style of cooking. Chinese food can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law, and there are many fine kosher Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia and New York. Traditional Ashkenazic Jewish foods like knishes, bagels, blintzes, and matzah ball soup can all be non-kosher if not prepared in accordance with Jewish law. When a restaurant calls itself “kosher-style,” it usually means that the restaurant serves these traditional Jewish foods, and it almost invariably means that the food is not actually kosher.
Food that is not kosher is commonly referred to as treif (lit. torn, from the commandment not to eat animals that have been torn by other animals).
Please visit the site and follow the links for a thorough explanation. In Step One of my book, one of the students in Mr. Bauer’s history class explains the background and meaning of kosher in response to an exam question. The teacher observes that in Salvation Time, everyone now eats kosher and wants this particular student to explain why (you’ll understand when you read it — no spoilers here!). In Step Three as they travel the world, Mr. Bauer and his class discover this to be true when they visit many restaurants and enjoy plenty of authentic ethnic food in places like Egypt, Italy, Germany, France and the US — all kosher. This is a crucial part of bringing Salvation to earth, along with improvements and innovations to vital industries like energy, food and medicine.
As we get closer to publication, I welcome feedback from my readers!
Posted on April 15, 2014, in Steps To Salvation and tagged energy, food, health, Israel, Judaism 101, kashrut, kosher, medicine, Shlomo Attia, Steps To Salvation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.