Jews, Muslims Find Common Ground in Food

May 5, 2007

Author: Andi Balla

Source: Contra Costa Times

NEW YORK -- Determining the exact contents of a meal at a restaurant can be stressful for Jews and Muslims who choose to follow their faiths' dietary restrictions.

Dinner at a friend's house can be a balancing act between trying to be polite and keeping true to your choices. Travel can test the best of intentions.

Lindsey Blank, who usually observes strict Jewish kosher rules, says she has had her share of those experiences, choosing to be flexible in rare occasions.

Last summer, while visiting Morocco, she was faced with eating an entirely vegetarian dish or consuming halal meat, which conforms to Muslim tradition.

"I ate the meat," she said, "because I knew it was halal."

In strict religious terms, Jewish kosher and Muslim halal foods are different from each other.