Passover is a Jewish religious festival that extends to a complete week, and is celebrated to commemorate the freedom of Jews from their enslavement in Egypt. Jews of the world celebrate this festive occasion by making merriment and feasting. Under the Jewish dietary laws, as laid down in Kashrut, only Kosher or permissible foods are to be consumed during Passover. There are certain foods that are forbidden by Kashrut, and are therefore, considered to be non-kosher. Read on to know what are the prohibited foods in Pesach, according to the Jewish dietary laws.
Passover Non-Kosher Foods
Any land mammal that is without cloven hooves and doesn’t chew its cud is not permitted under the Jewish dietary laws. Camel, rock-badger, hare and pig are some of the non-kosher land mammals. Among the creatures living in water, shellfish, such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs, are all forbidden, as they do not have fins and scales. Scavengers or bird of prey are also not permitted for consumption. Many reptiles, rodents, amphibians and insects are forbidden, as well. Additionally, any product that is derived from these animals, such as their milk, eggs, fat, or organs, is also non-kosher.
As mentioned above, milk from any of the non-kosher animal will also be considered non-kosher. Jewish dietary laws determine that those animals that are found to be diseased, after being slaughtered, are non-kosher and therefore, their milk is forbidden for consumption during Pesach. However, Jews adhere to the principle that the majority of cases overrule this exception. However, due to the lack of proper supervision, it is difficult to determine whether the milk is ‘strictly’ kosher or not. There is another Jewish dietary custom that arose during the Talmudic times, which calls upon the Jews not to eat dairy foods after meat consumption, during the Passover week. However, the duration of this gap differs from one community to the other. While the German Jews wait for three hours, the Eastern European Jews typically wait for six hours. The Dutch Jews are known to wait for an hour for eating dairy products, after meat consumption.
While human meat is assumed to be among non-kosher foods, women’s breast milk is not regarded forbidden for consumption during Passover. Children younger than four are allowed to consume breast milk. However, the age limit could be extended, in case the child is ill.
The production of hard cheese usually involves rennet, which is an enzyme that splits the milk into curd and whey. While it is possible to make rennet from vegetable or microbial sources, most forms of rennet are derived from the stomach lining of animals. Thus, there is a good chance that hard cheese is non-kosher. If rennet derived from kosher animals that have been slaughtered according to the laws of Kashrut, has been used to produce hard cheese, it can be consumed as kosher food.