A Practical Guide to the Laws of Kashrut by Pinhas Cohen is a short and user-friendly guide which mainly deals with the technicalities of keeping kosher.
The book was written by Rabbi Pinchas Cohen, a faculty member at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut, Israel and is published by Koren Publishers in Jerusalem. His teachings are based on the classes he gave to foreign students at the Yeshiva.
A Practical Guide to the Laws of Kashrut is organised along clear topics:
– Meat and Milk
– Immersing Utensils
– How to Kasher a Kitchen
– Using Appliances in a Kosher Kitchen
– Insects in Food
– Food of Non-Jews
– Glatt Kosher Meat
– Kashering Liver
– Kashrut of Eggs
– Separation of Challah
– Separation of Tithes
In addition there is a glossary at the end which provides definitions for most of the Hebrew terms used by the author. And footnotes are found at the bottom of each page for references and sources; a clever layout since notes at the end of a book often prove to be impractical.
The author provides guidelines that are both clear and comprehensive without ever getting wordy. When poskim differ, the author shares the various alternatives, including more lenient options when the latter are available within the boundaries of Halakhah. Moreoever he distinguishes between Sephardi and Ashkenazi minhagim when this is relevant.
The book does not deal with the very basics of kashrut but covers a range of questions that frequently arise in the home or to the modern traveller. Rabbi Pinchas Cohen also tackles more complex issues, some of which I know I’d find find useful to accommodate a more observant host.
A Practical Guide to the Laws of Kashrut by Rabbi Pinchas Cohen belongs to the Jewish bookshelf. This book is a perfect gift to the student who leaves home for the first time to go to college. It is also a very accessible guide for every day use or intelligible references.
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Sounds like a good book for someone who wants to learn the many details of Kashrut. It’s good that it talks about Sephardi vs. Ashkenazi minhagim – I talk with those who keep a Sephardi kitchen, and they have different ways of dealing with pareve, for example. (I don’t think pareve really exists for them, whereas most of my pots are pareve).
One big difference is that many Sephardim don’t eat fish with milk.
I learned this the hard way a few years ago. Our son had brought home a couple of Sephardi friends for a meal on Shavuot, and I discovered that they couldn’t eat the fish together with all the dairy side dishes I had prepared…
I saw no mention of this in the book; maybe it is a more local Sephardi custom and not a general one.
Yes, the Sephardi I know only have two sets of pots: for meat and for milk. Furthermore they are lenient about eating pareve foods cooked in a clean meat pot with milk.
Ooh, now that sounds an interesting read. Thank you. And I didn’t realise that Sephari minhagim don’t seem to include pareve as a concept. Another new thing learned today!
In France, as most Jews are Sephardim there are sometimes problems for the more observant Ashkenazim who feel uncomfortable eating in a Sephardi home. Masorti kashrut laws are in fact closer to the Sephardi ones.
Nice review…sounds interesting.
It is different from other books I have read on the topic but it is very interesting.
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This post was included in the Shvat Kosher Cooking Carnival. Ask your readers to check it out – http://www.kosherfrugal.com/2013/01/kosher-cooking-carnival-shvat-edition.html
I’ll feature it my weekly review tomorrow.