Comment on Staff Report Jewish and Islamic Dietary Laws

Two small supplements to the (as ever) useful report:
(i) The section on Kosher requirements on alcohol is misleading, in the sense that (as I discovered when at some trouble I lugged a bottle of champaign I had been given on an airline to the home of an Orthodox Jewish friend) there are special dietary laws requiring that the stuff has been prepared all the way by observant Jews. You need to buy Kosher wine, if you are giving wine to observant Jewish friends
(ii) There is a significant discrepancy between the requirements for halal slaughter and kosher slaughter: while mechanically there is no problem (although Jewish laws are more picky), Halal requires that the name of God be invoked on each occasion, while Kosher slaughter requirements require only the saying of a prayer at the start of a chain of killings (although may it may require repetition if there is a pause). This, as some Muslim commentators have noted, may mean that some meat slaughtered by a Jewish specialist in slaughter will not, in fact, meet the requirements of Halal, while my understanding is that this cannot be easily remedied, because Jewish religious law rules out the unnecessary mention of God. This may have some interesting implications for those Muslims who consider it Kosher (or rather, Halal) to eat Kosher, and for those experiments in certain US liberal arts schools, in which there is common catering for observant Jewish and Muslim students.

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