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October 29, 1993 - Image 52

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

More Myth


1. There is such
a thing as
"Kosher Style."

4. The Arab-Israeli
conflict goes back
hundreds of years.

You've heard of being a little bit pregnant?
"Kosher style" is in the same league.
Food is either kosher or it isn't, explains Rabbi Rod Glo-
gower of the University of Michigan Hillel.
"Jewish dietary laws are quite specific," he says. 'They de-
scribe not only what animals can be killed, but exactly how
they have to be killed; then they must be cooked a certain way,
with kosher utensils, and served a specific way (meat and
dairy foods separate)."
Sometimes, restaurant owners call food "kosher style" be-
cause the meat they are serving is, in fact, kosher, Rabbi Gl-
ogower adds. "But then it's prepared in an unkosher way
served with milk or with non-kosher utensils. It could even
be that the kosher corned beef was sliced using the same ma-
chine that just sliced a side of ham."
"It's basically a marketing ploy," Rabbi Glogower says of
the "kosher style" pronouncements. (Maybe the same restau-
rants serve "vegetarian style" food: fresh vegetables, cooked
in beef stock?)

There are plenty of problems with this crazy notion (even
advanced by a certain U.S. president not so long ago), not the
least of which is the fact that many of the Middle East coun-
tries didn't even exist until after World War I.
"Most of these countries are not like European nations that
have histories as states," explains Les Goldstein, executive di-
rector of the Detroit office of Bar-Ilan University.
Iraq became an independent nation in 1932. Saudi Arabia
was established in 1926. Jordan wasn't a country until 1946.
Israel was created in 1948.
In addition, Mr. Goldstein notes, the Jewish presence in the
Middle East was relatively small until 1881. Most of these
Jewish communities lived quietly and peacefully until, as their
numbers increased, they often were attacked by Arabs.

2. Glatt kosher means
"Super Kosher."

The word glatt is Yiddish for "smooth" (in Hebrew the word
is chalach). It is used specifically to describe the condition of
an animal's lungs after kosher slaughter, according to Rabb
Mordechai Wolmark, head of the Merkaz, the laymen's as-
sociation of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis.
Meat designated "glatt kosher" came from an animal that
had absolutely no lesions or adhesions (scabs) on its lungs
when it was slaughtered.
Kashrut demands that animals be healthy before shchitah
(kosher slaughter), but there are some small lung adhesions
that are permissible to remove. As long as a heksher (kosher
certification) comes from a reliable source, meat is considered
100 percent kosher regardless of whether it is glatt or not,
Rabbi Wolmark says.

3. Orthodox Jews have
marital relations
between a sheet.

"How this got started I have no idea," says Rabbi Alon rlbl-
win, executive director of Aish Halbrah in Detroit. "Maybe
because people saw tzitzit drying on laundry lines?...
"In any case, there's absolutely no Halachic base to this
idea whatsoever."

5. The word mitzvah
means "good deed.

The word mitzvah comes from the Hebrew tziva meaning
"command," explains Rabbi Zeev Shimansky, executive di-
rector of Yeshivat Akiva. Thus, mitzvah literally means "com-
mandment" from the Torah.
The colloquial understanding of mitzvah is that it is sole-
ly a good deed, and while doing a commandment is certainly
a good deed, "that's not the only reason we do a mitzvah," Rab-
bi Shimansky explained. "We do a mitzvah because we are
commanded by God to do so."

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