K A S H R U T . C O M©

The Premier Kosher Information Source on the Internet


HOME | PASSOVER | CONSUMER | COMMERCIAL | TRAVEL | ZEMANIM | LINKS | ARTICLES | RECIPES | HUMOR | E-MAIL LIST

Is Turkey Kosher?

By: Rabbi Ari Z. Zivotofsky,** Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION:

KASHRUT OF BIRDS - THE BIBLICAL STORY:

KASHRUT OF BIRDS - THE RABBINIC STORY:

KASHRUT OF BIRDS - THE NEED FOR A MESORAH:

With all the confusion, what is the normative halacha? Some Rishonim, such as the Ramban (Chullin 62) who describes examining many birds to identify the kosher traits, were willing to trust their understanding of the Talmud and to rely on the physical characteristics. The Shulchan Aruch (YD 82:3) narrowed the use of physical signs and required a priori knowledge that the bird is not a dores. The Shulchan Aruch also provided some means, to be discussed below, of ascertaining that a bird is not a dores.

Rashi (Chullin 62a), based on the incident of the tarnugulsa d'agma in which people ate a non-kosher bird as a consequence of applying physical characteristics 19 as a criterion, opines that we can never be sure that a bird is not a dores and hence rules that birds may be eaten only if there is a mesorah - a tradition attesting to the acceptability of this particular species.

The Ramo (YD 82:3), the principal authority for all Ashkenazic lands, followed the lead of Rashi and the Levush and ruled that the only applicable principle as far as he is concerned is that "no bird should be eaten unless there is a mesorah that it is a kosher species." 20
 

This ruling of the Ramo, 22 that there is an absolute requirement for a mesorah motivates the question regarding turkey, a New World species, and will be the launching platform for what follows. If "no bird should be eaten in the absence of a mesorah" how is it possible for a New World species to be kosher?

MESORAHS: TRANSMITTING, MAKING, APPLYING, AND AMENDING:

KASHRUT OF THE TURKEY


Comments to webmaster@kashrut.com 
© Copyright 2014 Scharf Associates
Phone: (781)784-6890 
E-mail: ajms@kashrut.com
URL: " http://www.kashrut.com/"
 
Arlene J. Mathes-Scharf  
Food Scientist - Kosher Food Specialist
 
Scharf Associates
P.O. Box 50
Sharon, MA 02067