JUDAISM RELATED Questions and Answers (ask) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-31-2005, 03:26 PM
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My non-Jewish friends often ask me "why and how" questions about Judaism and Jewish people's way of life and I thought it would be educating and interesting to start a topic where people can ask Judaism related questions and I or anyone else who is knowledgable can answer.



About me: I've been going to a Jewish school since Gr. 1 even though my parents were not interested in Judaism that much until recently (after making 3 immigrations!)





You can ask Questions like:

Why doesn't God talk to me?

Why do Jewish people not believe in Jesus as the messiah?

What are kosher animals?

Holiday questions (what is passover, hanukah...)

What is Shabbat (also called Shabbos)?

How do orthodox Jewish people dress? and why?





Ask ahead

If I do not know the answer, I have many resources to look it up.
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#2 Old 02-02-2005, 05:35 AM
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I have a dear Jewish friend (but he's not strict) and I asked him how his Jewish boss kept his little cap on his head. The boss is bald. My friend asked him and the answer was "with double sided tape".

Now as both of them have a wicked sense of humour I don't know if that's true or not.
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#3 Old 02-02-2005, 06:16 AM
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Can you explain the kosher food labelling system?
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#4 Old 02-02-2005, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by spud View Post

I have a dear Jewish friend (but he's not strict) and I asked him how his Jewish boss kept his little cap on his head. The boss is bald. My friend asked him and the answer was "with double sided tape".

Now as both of them have a wicked sense of humour I don't know if that's true or not.



I'll bet it's true. Actually, skullcaps are usually kept on with hair pins, but obviously that wouldn't work if they're bald.

*this space not for sale*
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#5 Old 02-02-2005, 12:46 PM
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I'll bet it's true. Actually, skullcaps are usually kept on with hair pins, but obviously that wouldn't work if they're bald.



lol, that's what I would imagine.
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#6 Old 02-02-2005, 08:05 PM
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I am Jewish by blood - but I would never call myself a Jew. I have no idea about anything to do with the religion or when any of the holidays are. My boyfriend is a Catholic. But I would be interested in this thread too! Oh and I know about shabbat and that lots of religious Jews eat Tofutti stuff so they can have 'milk' with meat!
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#7 Old 02-02-2005, 08:30 PM
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I'm Jewish too, but I'm not too observant. Sometimes I have questions too, so I'll try to think of some to post here...
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#8 Old 02-03-2005, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

Can you explain the kosher food labelling system?



Do you want a long answer or a short answer?



Short one...



Kosher symbols like a circled K or a circled U mean that a Rabbinical (Rabbis) organization certifies that all the ingredients of the product as well as the equipment upon which it is made are 100% kosher.



Long one... (taken from a website)





What is Kosher?



A. Kosher is a Hebrew word meaning fit.



The Torah lays down guidelines for whats fit, kosher, for a Jew to eatand whats not. Here are the general rules: fresh fruits and vegetables are never a problem unless they have bugs (certain vegetables, such as lettuce or broccoli, are commonly infested with insects. These vegetables must be carefully inspected before consumption), or they were grown in Israel (Israeli produce must be tithed. Rabbinical certification is necessary to ensure that the tithing laws were observed). Meat must come from non-predatory, cud-chewing mammals with hooves that are split, AND must be slaughtered and processed in a specific, kosher way. Poultry are limited to chickens, ducks and certain other non-predatory birds (see How do I know whether a particular bird is kosher or not?), which must be prepared in the same manner as kosher beef. Kosher seafood must have fins and scales. Grain, bean, and legume products are cool. Wines, beverages and anything liquid are good as long as theyve got a kosher symbol on their label (also see Does 100% juice need Kosher certification?).



B. Any product, substance, solid, liquid, derivative, stuff, powder, goo or whatever that comes from an animal thats not kosher, is not kosher either. Also, its not kosher if the animal wasnt slaughtered in the kosher manner. Thus, if any of those are in the ingredients of another product, that products not kosher. Thats why



C. Kosher today means that a Kosher certification company, such as Organized Kashrut Laboratories (the OK), has inspected the production process from start to finish. They check every vat, oven, conveyor belt, container and piece of packaging machinery to really make sure that nothing non-kosher gets in your food.



How do I keep kosher?



1. Kosher made simple



For kosher food, just look for the kosher labels on the package: circled K or U, Star-K and others. (A plain K don't mean much.) They tell you that theyre certified kosher.



2. Clean House



Mixing meat and milk products in any way, shape or form is not kosher. (Milk and meat symbolize life and death, respectively; mixing them is a Kabbalistic no-no.) And Kosher is more than what you eatits what you eat it on, and how you make it, too. So it's necessary to have separate dishes, cutlery, utensils and gadgets, and ovens, for meat and dairy items. If your utensils are not kosher, call a rabbi and see if they won't come down and kosherize your kitchen. (A smiley Jewish organization called Chabad has been koshering homes just like yours for decades. Contact your local Chabad center and tell the rabbi, I wanna go Kosher! )



3. What about my favorite foods?



Not to worry. You can almost always find kosherand usually better tastingsubstitutes. And most processed foods are kosher today, anyway. As for meat and poultry, more and more supermarkets are tuning in to the trend and supplying kosher provisions. You can usually find kosher stock without much of a search. And with the magic and convenience of the Web, an ever-growing selection of on-line purveyors will internationally deliver kosher whatever, straight to your door at rock-bottom prices, in the event you dont find what you want in the aisles. You can even get kosher buffalo! I kid you not: http://www.kosherbison.com.



4. Eating Out



Most cities have kosher eateries serving up some of the most fabulous food youll ever eat. Visit http://shamash.org/kosher/ for a kosher joint near you. (Helps if you don't live in South Dakota.)



What reason is there for keeping kosher?



Eating (and drinking) is a basic human survival requirement, next to air and shelter. If you were to add up all the time that you spent eating in one week, you would wind up with at least eight hours. Thats a lot of timewouldnt you agree? Yet we eat throughout the day, every day, without even thinking about it (unless were on a diet!).



Shouldnt eating be done with intelligence?



Enter kosher.



Contrary to public misconception, keeping kosher has nothing to with nutrition or hygiene, though many kosher products are more nutritious and/or hygienic than their non-kosher equivalentskeeping kosher is the means of finding G-d in your food.



What are kosher animals?



A. Kosher animals are creatures that meet the Torah's criteria for what's permissible for Jews to consume. Kosher means fit, and kosher animals are animals that are fit to eat.



B. Look at the kosher animal rules, and you'll notice something--there's no permissible predator: no shark steaks, no carnivore corned beef, no predatory poultry. You are what you eat--science has verified the notion that your food has a powerful effect on you.



C. Kosher and non-kosher animals are opposites. Kosher parallels tranquility, subtlety, and dignity, and non-kosher is the home of rough-and-tumble rudeness, ruthlessness, and a dog-eat-dog attitude. It's not surprising then that kosher animals are of the domesticated, docile variety-- sheep, cattle, goats, and most species of deer and antelope, while the non-kosher beasts are lions and tigers and bears and the like. Kosher animals are what you would have for lunch. Non-kosher animals would have you for lunch.



How do I know if an animal or living creature is kosher?



1. Cough It Up and Hoof It



Kosher animals are governed by the two rules of Positive Mitzvah #149: they must have completely split hooves, and they must be ruminants. What's a ruminant? Let's walk through this. Since most beasts don't have hooves in the first place, that leaves us with a limited selection, ruling out canines, felines, pachyderms, primates, simians and anything with claws or paws--basically, most animals. Now, of the remaining hoofed animals, many leave a flat, rounded footprint, indicating a one-surface hoof, like horses and zebras. Of the ones that have the requisite two-section hoof, some aren't completely two-sectioned--they're joined at one end, like the camel. What does that leave us with? Mostly cows, deer, or animals otherwise tame or timid, like sheep or antelopes. And of these split-hoofed animals, some are not ruminants--they don't bring their chow back up into their mouths for further chewing, such as the greater pig family. A hugely whittled-down representation of the animal kingdom is the result--the kosher animals.



2. Cruelty in the Air



For food that flaps or flies, the rules of Positive Mitzvah #150 are the same as with land-bound animals--if a bird kills other animals regularly for its own food, eats meat, or is known to be dangerous, it's not kosher. The grim taking of other lives makes a bird a predator, and kosher makes a predatory bird unfit to eat. So, rule out raptors, eagles, hawks, owls and other hunting birds, vultures and other carrion-eating birds, and storks, kingfishers, penguins and other fish-eating birds. Ostriches and other giant fowl, which are capable of killing you or otherwise ruining your day, are forbidden. Harmless little quacks like ducks, geese, turkeys, and, let's not forget, the immortally obsequious chicken, are perfectly fit for your plate.



3. Something Fishy's Going On



For aquatic creatures, the Torah lays down two simple laws in Positive Mitzvah #152: the creature must have fins, and the creature must have scales. Obviously, this cancels out crustaceans, shellfish, squid and octopi, which have neither. Less obvious are sharks, whales, and dolphins, which have fins but not scales. However, this includes virtually all fish, so don't worry about your favorite salmon steak.









I hope this helped. Anyone is welcome to ask more.
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#9 Old 02-04-2005, 08:50 AM
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I am Jewish by blood - but I would never call myself a Jew. I have no idea about anything to do with the religion or when any of the holidays are. My boyfriend is a Catholic. But I would be interested in this thread too! Oh and I know about shabbat and that lots of religious Jews eat Tofutti stuff so they can have 'milk' with meat!



Interesting. I don't do that, though.
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#10 Old 02-04-2005, 06:46 PM
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You seem very religious, are you?



I'm Jewish, I've been going to hebrew school of sorts since kindergarten although I'm not overly fond of the religion. I have a decent amount of knowledge on the topic though I don't agree with a lot of the beliefs.
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#11 Old 02-04-2005, 07:14 PM
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I understand the not mixing milk and meat, but I still don't understand why some animals are kosher and some are not. Does the Torah (or some other religious document) actually explain why (for instance, why you should only eat ruminant animals with split hooves)?
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#12 Old 02-06-2005, 05:46 PM
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Actually, no. Jewish people are not allowed to eat certain animals because God said so.
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#13 Old 06-25-2005, 12:24 PM
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I'm a new Chabadnik, wrestling with being The Vegetarian in the group. but the congregations want SO MUCH for membership.

Koshering a house as a vegan is easy. Clear out the last corpse-eaters and there ya go! Kosher relates only to animal products. all produce (veggies, fruit, grains) are kosher.

I have one set of everything.
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#14 Old 06-25-2005, 12:35 PM
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I'm a new Chabadnik, wrestling with being The Vegetarian in the group. but the congregations want SO MUCH for membership.

Koshering a house as a vegan is easy. Clear out the last corpse-eaters and there ya go! Kosher relates only to animal products. all produce (veggies, fruit, grains) are kosher.

I have one set of everything.

Well you can still have fish. How fish and eggs are considered pareve is beyond me.



I used to be close to orthodox. I try to forget that part of my life. Bu I can still answer questions if people are interested.
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#15 Old 06-25-2005, 02:29 PM
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Two serious questions for you....



(Disclaimer! I swear, though my "tone" might be read as such....I'm not trying to be antagonistic at all. I'm genuinely intrigued and looking for answers. Religion is a very interesting topic to me and though I've asked around I couldn't find a good answer to these)



1) Why circumcision? I gather it is to mark that person as "of the chosen people"...but is there any historical reason why THAT in particular was chosen as a mark of the people and not some other sort of VISIBLE sign, like a tattoo? And, why are tattoos and other body modifications NOT permitted (something about the body as a temple, no?) but circumcision is?



2) Even though the kosher long-answer touched on this, and msbunnicula also asked a similiar question...I was hoping you could elaborate as to why the kosher animals are kosher and other animals are not. Why is a "predators and hooves" system used as opposed to anything else? Is there any historical evidence for Gods reasoning or is it just one of those "God says so" type deals?
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#16 Old 06-25-2005, 05:12 PM
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That was really interesting. I live in a predominantly Christian area, so I know very little about Judaism. I'd always wondered about food being Kosher.
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#17 Old 06-27-2005, 08:13 PM
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Two serious questions for you....



(Disclaimer! I swear, though my "tone" might be read as such....I'm not trying to be antagonistic at all. I'm genuinely intrigued and looking for answers. Religion is a very interesting topic to me and though I've asked around I couldn't find a good answer to these)



1) Why circumcision? I gather it is to mark that person as "of the chosen people"...but is there any historical reason why THAT in particular was chosen as a mark of the people and not some other sort of VISIBLE sign, like a tattoo? And, why are tattoos and other body modifications NOT permitted (something about the body as a temple, no?) but circumcision is?



2) Even though the kosher long-answer touched on this, and msbunnicula also asked a similiar question...I was hoping you could elaborate as to why the kosher animals are kosher and other animals are not. Why is a "predators and hooves" system used as opposed to anything else? Is there any historical evidence for Gods reasoning or is it just one of those "God says so" type deals?



1)The reproduction organ was chosen because that is where a man is most challenged and has the most inclination in doing wrong.

According to the Torah, the most horrible sins for Jews and non Jews are:

a)sexuality sins (incest, and other specific sins)

b)idol worshipping

c)murder

A man will always remember the promise abraham made with God and keep the most important laws if the reminder is located on the reproduction organ.



Tatoos are forbidded because they harm the body (and because God said so). The circumcision is even said to be healthy.



2)Most people say that it's just one of those "God says so" type deals. But the Sefer Ha Chinich is a book dedicated to explaining the reasons for all the Torah's laws. You might want to look there. But again, we do not do it for the reason, we do it because God said we should do it. Just look at the story when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son: it goes against our morals, however, Abe still agreed to do it because God said so. We don't listen to God because he's moral, we listen to him because he is our creator. God invented morality. God is greater than morality and He knows what's best.



You might also be interested in reading this great article about why the Torah is true (as opposed to made up): http://www.aish.com/holidays/shavuot/last/know-f.htm



Hope I helped, ask more if you're interested
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#18 Old 06-27-2005, 08:19 PM
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You seem very religious, are you?



I'm Jewish, I've been going to hebrew school of sorts since kindergarten although I'm not overly fond of the religion. I have a decent amount of knowledge on the topic though I don't agree with a lot of the beliefs.



I am not Orthodox. That's not because I don't agree with the religion, it's because I'm not ready to keep all the laws yet. I hope that some day I will be ready. I believe that all the beliefs in Judaism are true and agree with them. It took me a long time to come to this conclusion, I've been doing a lot of research. So, please if there is something bothering you that you don't understand, ask me and I'm 100% sure that I'll find a great answer
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#19 Old 06-30-2005, 04:46 AM
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That did help, it was very interesting, actually!



Was that your personal interpretation, though? Or the widely accepted opinion (for the first question)...What I mean to ask is, where did you get the answer from about the reproductive organ?
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#20 Old 06-30-2005, 09:08 AM
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i am interested in yiddish. Also did you have to go to hebrew school? Sorry if my ?"s seem dumb.
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#21 Old 06-30-2005, 02:44 PM
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That did help, it was very interesting, actually!



Was that your personal interpretation, though? Or the widely accepted opinion (for the first question)...What I mean to ask is, where did you get the answer from about the reproductive organ?



Well I'm glad!

And it is a widely accepted opinion.
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#22 Old 06-30-2005, 02:46 PM
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i am interested in yiddish. Also did you have to go to hebrew school? Sorry if my ?"s seem dumb.



I don't know yiddish, never appealed to me. It is mostly spoken by European Jews, and I'm Sefardic (Spanish descent)



Yes, I went to hebrew school.
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#23 Old 12-16-2005, 09:01 PM
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Well you can still have fish. How fish and eggs are considered pareve is beyond me.



I used to be close to orthodox. I try to forget that part of my life. Bu I can still answer questions if people are interested.





No, I couldn't.

I'm a VEGETARIAN. this is a vegetarian board. FISH ARE NOT VEGETABLES.



that is the same uneducated crap I get at shul.
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#24 Old 12-17-2005, 12:25 AM
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No, I couldn't.

I'm a VEGETARIAN. this is a vegetarian board. FISH ARE NOT VEGETABLES.



that is the same uneducated crap I get at shul.



I think what Brownie meant was that consumption of fish (those with fins and scales anyway) and eggs is acceptable under kosher expectations. Clearly fish is not suitable for vegetarians, and eggs aren't for vegans.





rawfoodie, are there sects of Judaism that to this day practice annual animal sacrifice in accordance with the specifications in Exodus and Leviticus?

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#25 Old 12-17-2005, 01:07 AM
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i am interested in yiddish.



me too. I hope to be able to take a yiddish class next year.

if you have a question about it or wants something translated, I can check for you.
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#26 Old 12-17-2005, 01:31 AM
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Kosher relates only to animal products. all produce (veggies, fruit, grains) are kosher.



actually, there are commandments about agriculture in Israel that relates to vegtables. there's also a matter of avoiding bugs and worms that can effect the kosher issue. ultra-orthodox usually don't eat vegtables without a kosher mark on them..





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Originally Posted by rawfoodie View Post

Actually, no. Jewish people are not allowed to eat certain animals because God said so.



I must say, a lot of the commandments are not exactly things that God said. A lot of them are interpretation made to what's written in the bible.







If someone has a question about Hebrew or judaism in Israel, I'll be happy to help with that. (although I believe I have a different perspective in this subject).
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#27 Old 12-17-2005, 06:41 AM
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I have a question about what the Jewish people think of Jesus. I always thought that they believe he did actually exist, but that he just isn't the Son of God, or Savior that they are waiting for. That he was just some nice man. Is this correct?
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#28 Old 12-17-2005, 07:29 AM
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Jews are still waiting for the Messiah hence they do not believe that Jesus was the messiah so yes, you are partly correct. I can't speak for all Jews but the question of his existance depends on the person.
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#29 Old 12-17-2005, 07:40 AM
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So, some people may not acknowledge that he was a real person, and that he is fictional, not even just some guy who was walking around preaching love and forgiveness, etc. etc.?
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#30 Old 12-17-2005, 07:50 AM
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Some people may. I really would not know though to be honest. I was raised in a Jewish household but never really latched on to Judaism or any other organized religion for that matter so my opinion of his existence actually has nothing to do with my upbringing. I think that if he did exist, he was the John Lennon of his time.
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