If you look up any article that is written or at least the waste majority of them you will be able to see that turkey in general is healthy meat.

One of the better quality and healthier types of meat is turkey.

This particular meat contains very little fat – 1 gram per 30 grams of meat, and most of it is polyunsaturated fat. It is composed of seventy percent white meat and only thirty percent darker meat.

And, if we look at some other limitations regarding meat, we can see that in a religious sense, the Jewish community sees the turkey as kosher meat or a kosher bird.

Also, in order for it to be such meat, it has to be killed in a specified manner from a hand of a specified person and prepared in a proper way that is seen in Jewish laws, so it is considered to be a perfect kosher food item.

But, some are challenging this view, and they are providing some other insights into this topic, so we will speak more of this topic, to find the definitive answer is this bird truly kosher, or is this just a myth?

A long-time accepted truth that was not challenged in a proper way.

The fact is that the turkey has been consumed for many years now, and it is a bird that is seen as healthy, and that is kosher, as well as halal; but there are some historical proofs that showed that it is not easy to be certain of its kosher status.

Is Turkey Kosher?

For example, if you make a quick trip to a local story, and the kosher section with the deli, then you will see a wide collection of kosher turkey there.

So in this aisle, we can find many different products made out of turkey – there are hot dogs, smoked turkey, and various kinds of pastrami.

All of us love it, and there are many dishes we can eat with this meat, all over the world, there are dishes that are prepared from this meat, but is it kosher, and how can those who follow such a diet be certain in it?

But, is turkey one hundred percent kosher?

When we look into the Torah, we can find a list of non-kosher, and we can think that all others are seen as truly kosher.

And turkey is not on the list of non-kosher birds, so, therefore, people in the Jewish community have been used to consuming it, as they do with all other birds and meat that they have used to do it.

This is what makes the part of the problem, as there is nowhere in Torah written that turkey is kosher, so how can we know that this is true?

It is good to have in mind that Turkey is the bird that came into Europe in ed to Europe in the 16th century.

And therefore how can it be that this meat is well accepted among the Jewish community, and there is a major tradition in eating it?

Some say that kosher kinds of food can are not permitted to breed with species that are seen as non-kosher species, but if an unknown species breed with kosher then it is also seen as kosher, and this is the case when it comes to turkey.

Worries regarding the kosher status of the turkey were foremost introduced in the 19th century, but the turkey was long than consumed.

It must be respected that at this moment, expressing the turkey to be non-kosher would have offended righteous Jews who had consumed it for years as being evildoers.

There is especially powerful rabbinic resistance to it; first, due to the Talmud’s assertion that God does not permit the virtuous to commit sin, and two, due to the conscientious appointment of not launching insinuations on generations that were before us.

Therefore, there was substantial reason to find a rationale for the standard routine.

And one more thing is important here – it was said, by some rabbis that if a certain bird has never been a predator, and it has all traits of a kosher bird, then it truly is that.

Another opportunity is that the primary approval of the turkey occurred -as Jews in eastern lands were consuming it, as they have accepted Turkish traders.

Later on, the Jewish community in Europe was following these steps and consumed them.

They may have thought that this indicated that there was an age-old practice of eating it.

This false belief would have been improved by the point that the turkey was not familiar to be an American bird.

The phrase “Thanksgiving” was first officially used after President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November a national holiday in 1863.

Because the colonists hunted wild turkeys, and because it was a bird unique to North America, it soon became a staple choice for the holiday table.

Whatever the reason, one thing is obvious: If Turkey was founded in modern times, no one would approve of it, not one kashrut organization.

It has become tolerated since there was a space of possibility in which new breeds were found at a period when there was much slighter transparency regarding their roots and much less severity in the halachic approach.

Why do some think that turkey is not kosher?

Some challenge the kosher status of this meat or bird whatever you like to call it, since it is hard to understand why some like to challenge it, having in mind that on the market you can find many kinds of turkey with kosher certificates.

Turkey means indican chicken in Hebrew, and many would say that this shows proves that people were not sure what this was, and this is especially in times when this interesting bird has come to Europe, England primarily.

Some also say that this was not the birds that turkey – as there were some other birds that were presented to the world; and often these birds thought that they were just chickens but a bit bigger, and the confusion rise, as truly bigger kinds of chicken were imported then from China.

This was the reason why there was a lot of confusion.

And when data from these times were extracted – you are never certain what is here being discussed, what kind of a bird.

More about Turkey

The list of benefits we have from turkey is very long – it helps regulate cholesterol and insulin, supports the production of serotonin, and plays an important role in building the immune system.

And that’s all great, but let’s go back to what is equally important to gourmets – taste!

Turkey is a meat that has a slightly more neutral taste, so it is great for combination with various toppings that automatically make our mouths water.

And the confusion came to be since turkey belongs to the new world, and it came from it, before it people never knew what it is; and there were not many generations that consume it.

But the Jewish community loves it and regularly consumes it.

Several hints are here – one being that the European Jewish community has started to eat turkey when it came to them from America.

Then, numerous rabbis were thinking about it – in Hebrew, the turkey is named Indian chicken.

In other terms, practice is needed to permit the forbidden, but the lack of practice is not based to forbid that which has already been accepted to be allowed

Some also recommend that Jewish people started consuming turkey before the tradition became designated (16th century) not to consume any bird that does not have a tradition.

Therefore, the latest pattern of not obtaining new birds did not come into the outcome for the turkey.

A definitive potential reason is that it is feasible to breed chickens and turkeys for the purpose of creating a possible hybrid.

This similarly is a feasible mechanism of demonstrating that a suspicious kind is thought a “relative” of an acknowledged kind.

And when we look at the world, we can see that there are numerous dishes with turkey proving that they entered all the kitchens of the world.

In the Middle East, it is stuffed turkey with couscous, raisins, and pine nuts, and in Italy, it is ground turkey in lasagna with garlic, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes or “a la parmigiana” between layers of pasta and eggplant connected by mozzarella and parmesan.

Turkey can replace beef in the American classic “chili con carne” or it can serve as a filling for Mexican burritos.


Unlike the issue with mammals and fish, where the Torah gives determining elements by which kosher and non-kosher classes can be determined, when it comes to birds, there is not such a clear sign.

Rather, the Torah documents different types of non-kosher birds.

Having in mind that these are the ones identified as non-kosher, all those that were not on the list, are then most certainly kosher.

That rings clear enough, but there are two difficulties.

Foremost is that these documented types are not kinds or types in the scientific sense of the phrase, but instead available classes that contain numerous species.

Next, the number two difficulty is that it is not possible to know the identity of the birds on the document or the famous 24 list in the Torah.

When we look at Torah which gives the list of birds that are non-kosher, people presume that all others are kosher, but this is not as simple.

The fact that they are eating it, it means that they are simply used to do it.

Here we are speaking of a common practice that is used among people, even though nowhere in Torah it was written that turkey is kosher.

In Torah, there is a simple list of 24 kinds of birds that are not kosher, so the majority are seen as kosher, and just some are not.

During that time, the exact individualism of birds that are not kosher being documented in the Torah was misplaced.

Therefore, these days, in modern times, we are not capable to decide the kashrut of a certain bird only by reviewing if it arises in the Torah’s banned inventory.

It is, nevertheless provided the group of standards for deciding if a bird is seen as kosher.

The limitations are that all birds of prey are prohibited. Of course, determining what a “pouncing” bird means is purely relative – as a consequence, the taken approach is not to depend on the standards at all, though to consume only birds for which we have a custom, as it has been done through many generations before.

The turkey’s position as a bird that is kosher, and it was consumed for ay many generations, is seen as one of the most intriguing mysteries in the record of kashrut.

It has lengthy judged that birds can only be consumed if they have a Mesorah.

Turkey is a bird that comes from America and does not have Mesorah.

But, it instantly earned almost-universal approval as kosher, and the debate about its kosher situation only started many, many years later.

Actually, then, the conversation circled around a post-facto justification of why it is kosher, instead of a determination of whether is it or is it not kosher for sure?

Read also: Is Cheese Kosher? / Is Crab Kosher?

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