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KASHRUT 101



The foundations of Kashrut are found in the Torah, in large part, in Leviticus 11. It is important to keep in mind that, while the names of the birds listed in text below, of Leviticus 11, are mentioned, we do not in fact know which birds the Torah is speaking of. For more information, see kosher birds:

11:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These [are] the animals which you may eat among all the animals that [are] on the earth: 3 'Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves [and] chewing the cud -- that you may eat. 4 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is tame’ to you; 5 'the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, [is] tame’ to you; 6 'the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, [is] tame’ to you; 7 'and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, [is] tame’ to you. 8 'Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They [are] tame’ to you. 9 ' These you may eat of all that [are] in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers -- that you may eat. 10 'But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have (both) fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which [is] in the water, they [are] an abomination to you. 11 'They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 'Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales -- that [shall be] an abomination to you. 13 ' And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they [are] an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 'the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 'every raven after its kind, 16 'the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 'the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 'the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 'the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 20 ' All flying insects that creep on [all] fours [shall be] an abomination to you. 21 'Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on [all] fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22 'These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23 'But all [other] flying insects which have four feet [shall be] an abomination to you. 24 ' By these you shall become tame’; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be tame’ until evening; 25 'whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be tame’ until evening: 26 '[The carcass] of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, [is] tame’ to you. Everyone who touches it shall be tame’. 27 'And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on [all] fours, those [are] tame’ to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be tame’ until evening. 28 'Whoever carries [any such] carcass shall wash his clothes and be tame’ until evening. It [is] tame’ to you. 29 ' These also [shall be] tame’ to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; 30 'the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31 'These [are] tame’ to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be tame’ until evening. 32 'Anything on which [any] of them falls, when they are dead shall be tame’, whether [it is] any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item [it is,] in which [any] work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be tame’ until evening; then it shall be tahor. 33 'Any earthen vessel into which [any] of them falls you shall break; and whatever [is] in it shall be tame’: 34 'in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes tame’, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes tame’. 35 'And everything on which [a part] of [any such] carcass falls shall be tame’; [whether it is] an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; [for] they [are] tame’, and shall be tame’ to you. 36 'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, [in which there is] plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes tame’. 37 'And if a part of [any such] carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it [remains] tahor. 38 'But if water is put on the seed, and if [a part] of [any such] carcass falls on it, it [becomes] tame’ to you. 39 ' And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be tame’ until evening. 40 'He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be tame’ until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be tame’ until evening. 41 ' And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth [shall be] an abomination. It shall not be eaten. 42 'Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on [all] fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth -- these you shall not eat, for they [are] an abomination. 43 'You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves tame’ with them, lest you be defiled by them. 44 'For I [am] the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I [am] holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 'For I [am] the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy. 46 ' This [is] the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, 47 'to distinguish between the tame’ and the tahor, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.' "