|And you must not consume
any blood, either of bird or of animal, in any of your
settlements. (Lev. 7:26)
is regarded in the Bible as the vital element of all living things.
Noah and his descendants are forbidden to consume the blood of animal
flesh, as consumption of blood is equated with eating the living animal.
The laws of the sacrificial cult stipulated that while the meat is partly
burned and partly eaten, the blood is poured away at the base of the
prohibition against consuming blood, repeated several times in the Bible,
is the basis of the detailed laws elaborated in the Talmud concerning
the ritual preparation of meat. The Talmud limits the prohibition against
consuming blood to blood in the arteries, which is removed by ritual
slaughter, and to blood which emerges on the surface of the meat (the
blood within the meat itself it permitted.) The procedure for removing
the surface blood from meat, or "kashering" as it is known
in modern English, involves soaking the meat in water, salting and rinsing
(or alternatively, grilling).
The following is
a simplified description of the kashering procedure. JHOM.com is not
a halakhic (religious ritual) authority, and offers the following
as educational information only:
Before the meat
and bones are salted they are fully submerged in clean, cold water (in
a vessel saved only for this use) for 30 minutes. This soaking removes
surface blood and opens the pores, enabling the salt to draw the blood
out of the softened meat.
The meat is then
placed on a special board, either grooved or perforated, which is slanted,
in order to allow the blood to flow down.
The meat is then sprinkled with medium-coarse salt. Fine (table) salt
is not used because it dissolves too easily, while salt that is too
coarse falls off.
Poultry is opened
and salted inside and out. The meat is then left to stand for one
hour, after which it is washed two or three times in cold water.
In an emergency, the periods of immersion and salting may be reduced
to 15 and 30 minutes respectively. Meat that was slaughtered more than
72 hours earlier as well liver are not treated by salting but must be
koshered by roasting over an open flame.