Kosher and halal meal delivery services in Canada. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Islamic_and_Jewish_dietary_laws WILDER DINING HALL, MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE, 2001. But is this necessary or even relevant today, especially in America where, given the inter-marriage rate of over 50%, the emerging Jewish community is already multi-ethnic, and diversely religious?”, “Deep ecumenism is the opposite of tribal xenophobia and religious fundamentalism. This legislation is part of an ongoing process to guarantee consumer protection and quality THE JERUSALEM STEAKHOUSE, MONTREAL, QUEBEC C. 2005. 11 Roberta Kalechofsky, “Judaism and Vegetarianism” The Reconstructionist (March-April 1987), pp. And it behooves us to investigate the practices of this era more fully as a potential paradigm for dealing with halal and kashrut concerns in our times. halal and kosher certification, and these images of these products appear on the following pages. is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking (New York: Warner Books, 1993) pp. For inspiration, I look to teachings of Mathew Fox and his understanding of what has been termed “Deep Ecumenism”. Muslim who went into business together running a restaurant serving halal and kosher food. This is not prohibited according to halal. According to another article in a local 39 Bill Brownstein, “Partners in Peace – And Food” Common Ground News Service, 15 July 2005. http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=853&lan=en&sid=0&sp=0. after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat. Regenstein, M.M. But that is for another research paper. (Lev. Through interpretation and elucidation of these texts Jews and Muslims developed comparable systems of dietary laws, ritual slaughter of livestock, guidelines for food preparation. 37 See Vivian Mann, et. Jacob’s stew was a healing meal 4th Rosh Hashanah as the Crisis Sharpens Still More (2003). I am not advocating elimination of kashrut practices, as did the early Reformers.26 However, I FROM RENEWAL TO MAINSTREAM – ECO-KASHRUT AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE MAGEN TZEDEK, In the late 1970’s Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi first coined the term “eco-kosher”, defining Surah 5:5 None other than his father Isaac and his Uncle Ishmael. Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who sojourns among you ... Islam prohibits all intoxicating alcohols, liquors, wines and drugs. I am dedicating this piece to JIDS (Jewish Islamic Dialogue society) as this matter crossed our conversation. PROHIBITION – BIRDS OF PREY OR SCAVENGERS: Of all clean birds you shall eat. Kashrut and Halal Christianity: Pork is ok No slaughter method No alcohol restrictions Shellfish ok Kashrut: No pork Specific slaughter method with draining of blood No shellfish Halal: No pork No carrion shellfish is ok No alcohol, gambling specific slaughter method Throughout that decade, he continued teaching and writing advocating a new approach to kashrut, relevant not only to food, but applying a standard of ethics to all dimensions of Jewish life. Peterson Littman, Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide This post will concentrate on the common laws both faiths share. This unleashed in the American Jewish community a tumultuous process of studious re-evaluation of the deeper meaning and implications of kashrut. Over thirty years ago I would often hear Reb Zalman ask why it was that Jews and Muslims could not stand together in peaceful prayer at Hebron and acknowledge that Father Abraham, Ibrahim was father to both Jews and Muslims. 2005) 52-55. Carnivorous and Omnivorous land animals 4. 12:21-25); separation of meat and milk (Ex. products to have both kosher and halal certification. None other than his father Isaac and his Uncle Ishmael. According to Midrash Tanhuma (Buber, Toldot 3), following the death of Abraham Jacob was preparing food for mourners. My response was that there is not much difference between the two, as most Muslims eat Kosher meat as Halal (Permissible per tradition), what it encompasses is the kind animal that is permitted to eat, how it is slaughtered and bled and whether it is slaughtered for consumption or sacrifice or game, in Islam it is permitted for consumption only. As it turns out, the meal Jacob had cooked was not just an ordinary lentil stew. For Islam, underlying the traditions of halal is emphasis on bringing a sense of purity and cleanliness to the preparation and eating of food. In the first part of this paper, I discuss development of eco-kashrut and its evolution into the contemporary Hekhsher Tzedek “movement”. After looking at similarities and differences between halal and kashrut, in the final sections of this paper, I explore ways sharing of sacred foods between Jews and Muslims. Paper submitted in fulfillment of For Jews, foods and drink acceptable for consumption are kosher, kasher, raf (Esth. Kosh… Harold Kushner, speaks of mitzvah as a sacred deed, as a way of taking an ordinary act and making it extraordinary, holy, imbued with a sense of God’s presence.33 Through the observance of laws of kashrut, the ordinary human act of eating food is made extraordinary, sanctified. famously, producing an era of tolerance, cooperation and an inter-cultural flourishing in the arts, In addition to being a description of impure, forbidden food, haraam is also used to categorize certain types of illicit behaviors.32. “And Jacob cooked pottage; and Esau came from Pam Geller the moran has a piece up on her blog, denouncing halal slaughter. Tikkun, January/February 1988, March/April 1988.) JACOB’S STEW – A VISION OF SHARING OF FOOD BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND JEWS, The Book of Genesis speaks of the death of the Patriarch Abraham, whom Muslims refer to as Ibrahim, father of Isaac and Ishmael. 42 Personal phone conversation with Rene Kroll, Union Manager, Dining Services, Mount Holyoke College, May 5, but rather to welcome inter-married couples and families into Jewish community and Harold Kushner, speaks of mitzvah as a sacred deed, as a way of taking an ordinary act and making it extraordinary, holy, imbued with a sense of God’s presence.33 Through the observance of laws of kashrut, the ordinary human act of eating food is made extraordinary, sanctified. any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination to you; (Lev. The term that appears frequently in Qur’an is Halal-un-Tayyaban, that which is “permitted, and good or wholesome”. In a sense of our survival depends upon it.28. Although our survery is by no means exhaustive, these texts demonstrate a commonality of That is deep ecumenism.27, Deep ecumenism emphasizes the shared truths rather than differences between religions. 72, No. I offer this as “an imagistic collage” of opportunities and possibilities for Jewish-Muslim sharing of food, and inter-religious healing. 15 The story that spead the news widely in the Jewish world was: Nathaniel Popper, “In Iowa Meat Plant, Kosher ‘Jungle’ Breeds Fear, Injury, Short Pay” The Jewish Forward (May 26, 2006). Avoda Zara 35b explains that the purpose of this halakha is designed to limit social interaction with Christians, intentionally reducing the risk of intermarriage. While exact numbers are difficult to ascertain2, today there are approximately 5 to 8 million Muslims in America. JACOB’S STEW – A VISION OF SHARING OF FOOD BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND JEWS, The Book of Genesis speaks of the death of the Patriarch Abraham, whom Muslims KASHRUT AND HALAL: WAYS OF SANCTIFYING FOOD. In order to deal with major religious conflicts of the 21st century, we have to move beyond the old paradigm of Jewish xenophobia which often found expression in kashrut practices. United States. Above all, the point here is that we do have historical precedents for Jews and Muslims finding creative ways to build bridges and not walls between each other in the realm of sharing of food. Observance of dietary laws has a primary place in the traditional practices of both Jews and 18 Report of the Commission of Inquiry, (December 12, 2006) p. 3. http://magentzedek.org/pdfs/Report%20of%20the%20Commission%20of%20Inquiry.pdf. problematic and requires a new ethic, a transvaluation in the words of Mordechai Kaplan. 60. 45 Sue Fishkoff, “”Dietary Changes Afoot, But Are They Kosher?” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, (October 29, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths (Los Angles: Jeremy 11:10-11), Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food,- for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel. This Food that conforms to the Kashrut, the Jewish Dietary law is said to be kosher and fine for consumption. Most of the halal rules were laid down in the Quran. Haaretz newspaper reported a fascinating story of a devout Israeli Jew and a devout Palestinian Hence food items and drinks showing the kosher symbol containing alcohol are not halal. While particularities and uniqueness is not ignored or under-valued, deep ecumenism seeks to highlight the spirituality that human beings of different religions and cultures can share; in Reb Zalman’s language, the shared God-field. Similar lobbying has taken place in New Jersey and New York. Conservative Judaism to evaluate AgriProcessors and other kosher meat packing plants “to learn about working conditions at the plant, and to establish next steps, if needed, to help ensure worker dignity, safety and rights, within the context of Jewish law, values and tradition.”18 Out of this initial inquiry “The Hekhsher Tzedek Commission” was formed under the direction of Project Manager Rabbi Morris Allen to develop a proposal for creation of what was originally referred to as a tsedek hekhsher, “a certification that the manufacturer has met a set of standards that determine the social responsibility of kosher food producers, particularly in the area of worker rights.”19. Foods. Next I spell out the basis of a value of “deep ecumenism” as an antidote to the tribal particularism that has, at times, characterized Jewish life. Foods not considered halal are known are as haraam, an Arabic term meaning “forbidden”. integration of the Muslim population in American society, a trend may well be in the making. However, in addition to concerns with quality of food, labor relations, animal rights, environmental impact and integrity in business, there are other pressing questions of our age, other ethical issues that have not been addressed by the Hekhsher Tzedek Commission. From the perspective of deep ecumenism the question I ask here is: how can we use food and The term that appears In addition, there are ways kashrut practices do not conform to Islamic halal standards: Halal practice requires saying the name of Allah prior to slaughtering an animal. 11:1-4), O ye who believe! Tarcher, 2002) p. 5. of criteria having to do with such matters as employee health, safety and training; creation of a new ethic regarding kashrut. Kashrut law prohibits eating of any types of insects. To cross that bridge from tribal particularism towards a global spirituality, deep ecumenism invites us to look ways in which Jews and Muslims can, and have in the past and present been able to share food together. 44 J.M. decades, I see an example of how a prophetic idea based on values of right relationship to earth and other human beings, can grow into fruition and manifestation. KASHRUT AND HALAL: SIMILARITIES AS FOUND IN THE SACRED TEXTS. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud. The Wilder Dining Hall has become a model for other college campuses. See also Leon Cohen, “Waskow’s eco-kashrut to headline state collaboration with the Muslim community, legislation was created to guarantee “that any food 10 The Jewish Reconstructructionist Federation has been active in this area, for example: “JRF Conference Call, “Greening Synagogues and Living a Sustainable Life Rooted in Jewish Values” (June 6, 2007). Halal and kashrut are comparable, albeit notably different, systems for sacralizing the human encounter with food. These negotiations can take the form of what was done in Virginia, colobbying government authorities for consumer protection. 1 “Inaugural Address - January 20, 2009; 44th President of the United States Barack Obama” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President_Barack_Obamas_Inaugural_Address/. JEWISH-MUSLIM DIALOG IN POST 9/11 AMERICA Regenstein, M.M. Hence food items and drinks showing the kosher symbol containing alcohol are not halal. pilgrimmage] should not kill any predatory birds.. (Sayings of Prophet: Malik’s 0. Because kashrut prohibits gelatin from pigs, it would be halal to eat it. From the perspective of deep ecumenism the question I ask here is: how can we use food and the sharing of food as a way of healing inter-relationships with Muslims? appointed a joint commission from the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of In order to deal with major religious conflicts of the 21st century, we have to move beyond the old paradigm of Jewish xenophobia which often found expression in kashrut practices. - Dhabiĥa halal contains no restriction regarding hindquarters. KASHRUT AND HALAL: SIMILARITIES AS FOUND IN THE SACRED TEXTS, From the perspective of deep ecumenism, we want to first explore the shared field of sacred food traditions found in Judaism and Islam. eagle, and the vulture, and the osprey, And the kite, and the hawk, after their kind, Taking study of traditional texts very seriously, the Commission then evaluated a wide pastiche of Biblical, Rabbinic and medieval sources related to these various issues, aspiring to highlight values of righteousness, social responsibility and integrity in business practices as a basis for ethical kashrut. 11 Roberta Kalechofsky, “Judaism and Vegetarianism” The Reconstructionist (March-April 1987), pp. 8:5) meaning “proper”. This includes human behavior, speech communication, clothing, conduct, manner and dietary laws. See also 21 http://magentzedek.org/pdfs/Policy%20Statement%20and%20Guidelines.pdf. 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