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Kashrut or kashruth, kashrus (Hebrew: כַּשְרוּת, kašrûṯ ) or "keeping kosher" (Hebrew: כָּשֵר, kāšēr) is the name of the Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed kosher in English. It is from the Hebrew term kashér, meaning "fit" (in this context, fit for consumption by Jews according to traditional Jewish law). The equivalent for Muslims, as per Islam, is Halal food.

Clean animals

Main Article: Clean animal

Biblical definition

Do not eat any detestable thing. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud. However, of those that chew the cud or that have a split hoof completely divided you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the coney. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a split hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you. The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses. Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean. You may eat any clean bird. But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. All flying insects that swarm are unclean to you; do not eat them. But any winged creature that is clean you may eat. Deuteronomy 14:3-20


One group of clean animals are defined in Deuteronomy 14:6 as having a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud. The text further clarifies that both the cloven hoof and cud chewing are requirements, and lists several animals (i.e. camel, rabbit, and pig), which have only one characteristic and are impermissive. Modern taxonomists place these animals in the order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) and suborder Ruminantia (cud-chewing).

Order Artiodactyla

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