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Kitchen and Kashrut: Halacha Mastery Program

Kitchen and Kashrut: Halacha Mastery Program
Kitchen and Kashrut: Halacha Mastery Program
Wednesday October 25, 2017
The class will begin in:
5 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes
Instructor: Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein
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Kitchen and Kashrut: Halacha Mastery Program

Wednesday 9:00PM
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Course Description




This course is part of the WebYeshiva.org Halacha Mastery Program.
For more information please click here.


Halacha has much to say about what we can eat and how we prepare food. As such, this course will provide you with the necessary halachic tools for understanding how to manage your home kitchen in order to feel competent and comfortable when a decision must be made. Topics will include: kosher and non-kosher animals, fish and birds, bugs, why milk is kosher, blood, shechitah and how meat becomes kosher, salting meat, rules of milk & meat, omer, chadash, orlah, kilayim, types of food Chazal prohibited, what counts as  be-ein, ta’am ke-ikar, ta’am lifgam, and issues pertaining to pouring, covers of pots, steam, bittul issur, and more.  We will focus on primary texts from the Mishna through contemporary poskim with a view to clarifying the practical requirements for kashrut in the home.


To apply to join this course, please click here. 

About Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein
Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein has semicha from YU (RIETS) and a PhD from Harvard. He has worked in shul rabbinate, high school and adult education. He is the author of both fiction and non-fiction, most recently "As If We Were There: Readings for a Transformative Passover Experience". He lives in Riverdale, NY.

Class Resources & Information

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October 25, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Kitchen and Kashrut: Halacha Mastery Program

Contemporary authorities have likewise indicated its acceptability. In a discussion on the propriety of celebrating Thanksgiving, Rabbi Michael J. Broyde (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Fall 1995, 30:42-65) quotes numerous halachic authorities who parenthetically permit the eating of turkey. For example, Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted as saying "halacha sees no prohibition ... with eating turkey" (ibid, p. 51). Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's opinion is quoted by Rabbi Hershel Schachter in Nefesh HaRav (p.231): "in his [Rabbi Soloveitchik's] opinion there was no question that turkey did not lack a tradition of kashrut." In the course of offering their opinions about the observance of Thanksgiving, Rabbi David Cohen (of Gvul Yavetz), Rabbi Eliezar Silver, and Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt note that the turkey is a kosher bird.

Conclusion: The near universal acceptance of turkey as a kosher species, given the halachic quandary it presents, would indicate that the Jewish people have either accepted the possibility of originating mesorahs where none existed before or of accepting birds without the need for a mesorah. It is very possible that had the turkey question been posed when it was first introduced in the early 16th century, Jewish gastronomic history might have been different. It seems that many authorities may have initially come out against turkey because of its obvious lack of a mesorah. For some reason "bird controversies" erupted in the 18th and 19th centuries and when the turkey question was posed it often took the form of "why is it eaten?" rather than "may it be eaten?".

As has been shown, despite the fundamental difficulty with permitting turkey virtually all of the responsa are permissive, and it is unlikely that that will (or should) change in the future. It seems that unless one has a specific family custom to refrain from turkey, to adopt such a behavior is morally wrong. The turkey is no longer new and its kosher status has been addressed by both the great and not-so-great Jewish minds over the during 250 years and has received near-universal endorsement. To call it into question now is to impugn the dozens of responsa, and more so, the millions of honorable Jews, who have eaten turkey for almost half a millennium. That is not the Jewish way.


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