Friday, February 22, 2008

Kosher and Halal Meat

I'm in a humorous mood. A random factoid.

In Jewish dietary law, food that meet the proper halacha (law) are called kosher.

In Islam dietary law, food that meet the proper sharia (did I use the word right?) are called Halal.

Can the two be interchanged? there are lots of similarities and also lots if differences.


Soila. said...

I think kosher and Halal mean the same thing.

Miriam said...

That is what some say. I haven't looked into it enough, but thought it was interesting.

Yanmommasaid said...

I remember in one of my classes, a muslim woman came to speak and she said in the US muslims buy kosher meat when there are no sellers of Halal products around. said...

I don't think they are quite interchangeable, but the whole idea from what I know, is to be kind and purposeful in the sacrifice that the being is making to nourish you. They are both mindful prepararions which kind of ensure that what you are eating is blessed ~ as were the hands that made it ~ kindda makes you wonder how we ever got away from that, and how much it is needed, though I subscribe to neither faith, respect and honor them both! Whew, I didn't mean to say all that, but I think about both practices quite a bit these days because I worry about what my son puts in his mouth! Nice post!

Ehav Ever said...

Actually, Kosher and Halal are not the same. I had a debate with a Muslim guy at my old job about this. He was under the impression that Kosher was the same as Halal because it was done in the name of the one true God. I tried to explain to him that Sharia for Muslims concerning Halal is not the same as Halakhah for Jews. They are from two different sources and not equivalent.

According to Islamic law Muslims can eat Kosher food because it meets all of their requirements. According to Jewish law Jews cannot eat Halal because it does not meet all of our requirements. Below are the major differences between Halal and Kosher slaughter.

1) For meat to be considered Kosher the animal must be slaughtered by a Torah observant Jew. For meat to be considered Halal it needs to be done by a Muslim, who has reached puberty, who says the name of Allah and faces Mecca.

2) Glatt Kosher meat must be soaked and salted within 72 hr of slaughter. No such requirement in Halal.

3) For Jews, the sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels may not be eaten. No such requirement in Halal for Muslims.

4) For Jews, the processing equipment must also be considered Kosher, for it to be used. Un-Kosher equipment means the food not considered Kosher. No such requirement in Halal.

5) For Kosher, there is one cut across the neck of the animal. The cut must be done perfectly, with the blade being checked before and after for nicks. In Halal the slaughter is to be done by cutting the throat of the animal or by piercing the hollow of the throat.

As you can see they are two different set of circumstances done for different reasons.

h sofia said...

Many Muslims I know and knew (I was Muslim for 23 years) ate kosher meat. Basically, the Jews seemed to have much stricter laws around their food, so Muslims felt okay to eat their meat, although Halal meat wouldn't meat Kosher requirements.

The animal doesn't have to be killed by a Muslim male, btw. I've never heard this before. And certainly, plenty of Muslim women slaughter chickens for their families, for example. (My mother was one).

The oft-referred to verse in the Qur'an about this (5:5) suggests that the meat of the "people of the book" (Christians and Jews) can be eaten.

There is another group of Muslims (though some would argue that they are because they reject the authority of the hadith as a source of law) who believe that all that is necessary is to pronounce the name of God over one's food (including non meat) prior to eating it.