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Glatt Kashrut

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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Cheshvan 16, 5769
Question
Can you please explain the difference between "glatt" & "beit Yosef" as they relate to ashkenazim.
Answer
"Glatt" literally means smooth and is commonly used to define food that has no question or doubt on its Kashrut especially in relation to meat. "Beit Yosef" can mean two things in this context, ether the great Halachic Authority of 500 years ago – Rav Yosef Karro [author of the Halachic work Shulchan Aruch and Beit Yosef]; it can also mean a [one of many] private Kashrut authority in Israel named Beit Yosef. Rabbi Yosef Karro has a stricter view on some Kosher meat standards and would rule non-Kosher some animals that "the Rema" [rav Moshe Iserlish] rules kosher. Most Ashkenazi Jews follow the rulings of the Rema, and most Sephardi Jews follow the rulings of the Beit Yosef. "Glatt meat" usually means it is kosher according the strict standards of the Beit Yosef. As for the private Kashrut name Beit Yosef I am not familiar enough with the ins and outs of it though heard it an authority of high standards; but once again I don’t really know.
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