Is Camel Milk Kosher?

Unfortunately, drinking camel milk is not permitted by kosher laws. Camel milk is well known for its nutritional content and its healing properties. Traditionally drank in the Middle East, camel milk is becoming increasingly popular in many western countries. Jews who keep kosher may come across this product in organic food stores, however, the camel is specifically mentioned twice in the Torah as an unclean animal.

Leviticus 11:3-8 ESV

Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

Deuteronomy 14:4-8

4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6 Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat.7 Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. 8 And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.

In short, camels are unclean because they don’t have cloven (split) hooves. There is growing evidence that supports the use of camel milk in the treatment of autism, so a Rabbi might grant the parents of a child on the autism spectrum an exception to use camel milk for health purposes. Camel milk can also be beneficial to diabetics. Since this is a health matter that intersects with faith, it’s best to discuss the matter with your doctor and spiritual adviser before proceeding.

If you are interested in buying camel milk, find out where to buy camel milk products in the USA, in the United Kingdom, and in Australia.

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