These are the different times, that could not be compared to the past, for numerous reasons; but people who belong to certain, and in this case, very traditional religious communities, most definitely have a problem in obliging what modern times want from them, and also their religious groups.
So, here, for starters, we can ask a question – why should members of the Jewish community follow kosher food rules?
It is, at times not enough to say, just because you should, or just because your parents have told you to do it in such a way.
Naturally, the most significant answer to this question is “because God told us to do so, and besides this, as many knowledgable people would say there is most definitely a practical, obviously visible usefulness of maintaining kosher food laws at this moment in time, for sure.
First of all, there is a spiritual reason – The Torah instructs all people who belong to this community that non-kosher food damages the Jewish soul.
The soul is like a receiver that selects up ripples of spiritual energy.
When a person eats non-kosher food, he or she loosens the soul’s capacity to “touch the spiritual”.
And this is one very serious danger that is not lost forever, as it is said that it can be fixed when that individual begins consuming kosher food once again.
Another, and also the very important reason is health reason – have this always in mind. Because of the special control, kosher food is regarded as healthier and cleaner.
After slaughter, it is reviewed whether there are inflammatory processes in the animal’s lungs or any other health issues.
Blood, which is an excellent medium for the development of bacteria, dries up.
This is also good news, and when it comes to sea creatures, like shellfish, lobsters, and crabs in the past spread typhus and are the source of urticaria (a skin disease).
This is why it was seen as not good for their consumption.
Now, here we want to speak more of milk – it is said that milk and meat are digested at different rates and load the body.
And, of course, pigs are carriers of trichinosis, and this is the reason why they are forbidden from consumption and seen as nonkosher.
Here, we will speak more about milk and the kashrut rules that are associated with it.
Have in mind, at all times, that story of kashrut riles, and kosher food, as many wise Jewish teachers have said, is not about the food itself, but it is about something deeper, that connects generations through time.
Is Milk Kosher?
Firstly, we would want to speak more generally about dairy – such food consists of foods made from the milk of kosher animals, and this is very important to know which of them are kosher animals.
They are cows, sheep, and goats.
This is not the end, all of them and all of their products, must not include non-kosher additives.
It is considered that all milk that comes from kosher animals is seen as kosher, and it is safe for consumption.
But how to be certain that the milk you are consuming comes from such a source – a Jewish supervisor must be present, and the other word is a mashgiach. He is obligated to be present when the milking process takes place.
He must be present during the entire time, and in those times when such milk is not available in that case, certain rabbinic management access government examination as an adequate guarantee.
Have in mind that this is not practiced in all countries – but in some, this is the case.
Here we are talking about the generality, ad always has in mind that when we speak of Kosher, we do not speak only of cuisine, and the ways some people eat, but something much deeper.
But, if you can, it is recommended to buy and consume supervised milk.
Also, when it comes to Jewish law, milk, and meat have to, by all means, be separated, served, and prepared in separate dishes and cannot be mixed.
In the previous section, we spoke of one of the most important rules when it comes to Jewish dietary law – meat and milk must not ever be combined.
The Torah forbids the consumption of meat and milk together and forbids even cooking them together, and this rule can be at times very hard to follow, having in mind that there are numerous dairy products that we like to add to our meat.
Also, it is forbidden to mix any deriving benefits from such a mixture.
As a protective measure, the Jewish authorities have forbidden eating meat and dairy products in the same meal as well as preparing such meals with the help of the same kitchen utensils.
Maybe at home, it is not as hard to do it, but when you are in a restaurant that is not kosher, then you cannot be certain that this is not the case.
Accordingly, a kosher kitchen must have two sets of dishes, pots, plates, and cutlery – one set for meat dishes and the other for dairy dishes.
Another very important rule that deals with milk and milk products of various kinds – is after consumption of any meat product, the one who has consumed it, has to wait for six hours before consuming dairy products.
The case in the opposite direction is not necessary.
And, one more thing is this – meat can be eaten after dairy products, with one important exception.
This does not include hard cheeses, in which case a wait of six hours must be obliged.
Before starting to consume meat after dairy products, a portion of solid food must be consumed and the mouth must be flushed.
More about Milk
So, we have concluded that milk is kosher, and this is the case when that milk and dairy products come from kosher animals, but is it healthy?
Studies have shown that kids and young adults who drink milk develop stronger bones than those who drink less milk or none at all.
There is nothing wrong with drinking milk, as it is known, that for example, cow’s milk includes nutrients and minerals that recreate an essential role exactly during the growth phase.
When parents tell their kids to drink more milk while they are younger, this is for a reason.
According to current studies, milk is completely healthy for children.
But does the older population should drink milk – it was said that adults whose bone growth is complete do not need milk (for this very reason, and can have more harm than good).
For decades, calcium was thought to be good for bones, and high quantities of milk were recommended.
But there is more – nowadays, we know that calcium alone is not enough, vitamin D is also needed for healthy bones.
Nevertheless, in countries where little milk is drunk, far fewer people suffer from osteoporosis.
And now it gets even more complicated: Some studies suggest that high milk consumption in adulthood may increase the risk of bone fractures.
However, the data are contradictory and this thesis is therefore not proven.
Many observational studies suggest that the more milk we drink, the higher the risk of acne, because of the higher percentages of fat that we find in milk.
This again means that the link between milk consumption and acne according to the current level of knowledge from research is not unequivocally established.
If you have acne, you should refrain from consuming milk. Milk also has a certain amount of sugar, so it is said that can ruin organisms in that way.
Some go even further – saying that milk can cause some types of cancer –
as one research has found a new type of pathogen in cow’s milk, dairy products, and beef blood.
There also seems to be a link with prostate cancer, but only if more than 1.25 liters of milk is consumed per day.
So how much milk and dairy products is enough during the day for kids and grown-ups?
According to one study, 200 to 250 ml of low-fat milk or dairy products per day, or 50 to 60 grams of cheese, is safe for adults.
So about 1 cup of milk a day – this includes milk foam in cappuccino and other drinks, milk in muesli, etc.
The maximum day-to-day amount for children is 500 ml.
Fermented dairy products have a positive impact on the gut and its microbiome.
When in suspicion, opt for kefir and yogurt instead of a cup of milk, and you are good to go, ensuring you have all that you need for the day.
So, we have concluded, drinking milk in moderation as well as dairy products is considered to be safe.
We have also concluded that milk, that comes from kosher animals is seen as kosher.
Of course, this is only true when you follow other dietary rules regarding the consumption of milk, as it can never be mixed with meat
In the end, why is important to follow a kosher diet, because of personal development, as if a person can discipline himself to watch what and when he eats, he will be able to discipline himself in many other areas of life.
Kashrut requires waiting between the consumption of milk and meat and prohibits the consumption of certain animals and food combinations.
This is true even when we are very hungry.
All of this instills self-discipline and helps us elevate our spiritual side by choosing deliberately and not following our animal instincts.
And there are certain moral lessons that people should learn – not to be cruel – not even to animals.
It is forbidden to kill a mother and her cub on the same day, and of course never to cook in the mother’s milk.
Also, mercy must be seen in every other aspect – a limb must not ever be removed from a live animal, as this was done before we had any freezing devices.
When we kill an animal, we must do so by causing the least possible pain. Likewise, the ban on eating cruel birds of prey teaches us not to be cruel.
So, for a Jewish home to be “Jewish” it is to follow kosher dietary rules, not just because someone has said it should be done, but for many other reasons, that have a much deeper purpose.
If the home is kosher, then a commitment to Judaism and the sacrifices people who belong to this community, make for it becomes permanently imprinted on the souls of their children.
This is the reason that is much higher than just the simple rule does not eat pork, for example.
And since food is very often the epicenter of social events, by keeping kosher food rules Jewish community creates a natural barrier to assimilation.
For the majority of people, the spiritual fragrance of kosher cuisine is the bridge that connects the past and the future – it is not the food, it is what is shared between generations, and what connects them, with the accent on their values.
Ultimately, we cannot fully fathom the depth of the commandment to keep kosher, as just one very interesting saying goes, maintaining kosher isn’t all about taste, it is more than that.
Read also: Is Cheese Kosher?