Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Buffalo meat kosher?

Jpost: How about throwing a water buffalo steak on the barbeque to impress your friends? Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar would not object, he might even dig himself. After two years of deliberations, Amar ruled Tuesday that water buffalo (jamoose in Arabic) is kosher. But before ruling the buffalo fit for the most pious Jew's table, the chief rabbi meticulously investigated the bovine's culinary history, anatomy and eating habits with the aid of Dr. Zohar Amar [no relation to rabbi Amar] and Dr. Ari Zivotofsky of Bar Ilan University. Shmuel Friedman, head of the Agriculture Ministry's grazing division, also helped Amar reach the bottom of the water buffalo quandary.As required by the bible [Leviticus 11], the water buffalo has split hooves and chews its cud.......On Tuesday, three water buffalo heads were delivered to Amar's office in the Chief Rabbinate. The buffalo was declared kosher.Amar's decision was a blessing for Buffalo Farm, located on Moshav Bitzaron near Gadera. Buffalo Farm began marketing buffalo milk and cheeses less than a year ago in supermarket chains across the country under the kosher suprevision of a local rabbi. Buffalo Farm CEO Avi Zaltz said that Amar's halachic decision opened the way for the marketing of buffalo meat.
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