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Is it permissible for a Jew to eat meat that isn't treif or forbidden flesh if it was not purchased from a kosher butchery? I was told by a Muslim friend of mine that non-halaal meat (except pork) isn't haraam (forbidden) even if it wasn't slaughtered with a prayer as they do. Is this true in Judaism as well?

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I'm not sure exactly what the question is. Are you asking if Jews are allowed to eat non-Kosher meat (clearcut answer: absolutely not)? Or are you asking if it's possible that non-Kosher certified meat can actually be Kosher (more complicated answer, requiring explanation of some basic laws of Kashruth, but in short form, no). I'm just asking so we can know how to approach the answer. If you can clarify, it would be appreciated. Thanks! –  Seth J Sep 27 '12 at 15:26
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@SethJ meat that hasn't been certified as kosher can absolutely be kosher. There were generations of Jews who had no certification whatsoever and did just fine cuz they trusted Shlomy the shochet and Moishe the butcher.... Nowadays that's trickier, so the general answer, Mahalia, is still no. –  Charles Koppelman Sep 27 '12 at 15:29
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@CharlesKoppelman, we're talking about today. If I slaughter my own cow and follow protocol, yes, I will have Kosher meat that I can eat. Mahalia is asking about buying meat from the supermarket or some similar scenario. It's not tricky. It's (virtually) impossible. –  Seth J Sep 27 '12 at 15:30
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I'm not sure who downvoted, but I would likely +1 if the intent were clarified. –  Seth J Sep 27 '12 at 16:54
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3 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

No. A kosher animal must be specifically slaughtered and prepared according to Jewish laws in order for its meat to be kosher.

These laws are very specific, governing the knife used, the method and stroke of the knife, the method for soaking/salting properly, and checking the innards for defects which would render the animal unkosher. If any of these laws are not followed, then the meat is not kosher.

As such, Jews will only buy meat from an individual/store/company that they trust to follow these laws.

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Technically, we hold that if the innards can't be checked you can rely on rov that it's kosher. Also, if it hasn't been soaked or salted it's still kosher to eat raw (or roasted; or possibly after soaking yourself it the meat is really fresh or frozen). So the main issue is really the knife/cut. –  Double AA Sep 27 '12 at 17:18
    
Source?????? :] –  Hacham Gabriel Jul 10 '13 at 19:29
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Hod's answer above is correct. However, to address your point about "a prayer":

One must recite a b'rachah upon slaughtering an animal, which is the typical practice when performing mitzvos (Rambam, Hil. B'rachos 11:15). However, as usual with birkas hamitzvos, the absence of this blessing does not render the slaughtering unfit (Bi'ur HaGra, YD 1:31).

Eldad Ha-Dani, in his account of the religious practices of his claimed Jewish tribe in Africa, wrote that meat slaughtered without a b'rachah is forbidden. However, as the linked Wikipedia article notes, a number of Rishonim have considered his account unreliable (e.g. Ibn Ezra, Commentary to Sh'mos 2:22). Regardless, Eldad's extra-Talmudic requirements in hilchos sh'chitah are not accepted in practice (Bi'ur HaGra, YD 1:30).

To be clear, it is not the blessing that primarily characterizes Jewish slaughter; it is rather the careful attention to the many detailed and subtle laws governing the slaughter of kosher meat, as well as the fact the the slaughterer must be a God fearing and halachically observant Jew.

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Kudos to both answers above; just one more point: after the ainmal is slaughtered by a Jew according to Jewish law, the meat is then inspected, soaked, and salted; then it can be packaged in a reasonably tamper-proof container and shipped off and sold at any general supermarket. So you don't have to go to a "kosher butcher shop" per se.

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