AN INTRODUCTION TO KASHRUT
The Introduction to Kashrut is intended as a entry point guide for individuals and organisations interested in Kashrut. This is to be used as a general guide only.
What does "Kosher" mean?
The Hebrew word "Kosher" applies to food and means fit or proper for consumption. The word "kosher" refers to the food that Jewish people regard as fit for them to eat. The generic term that covers kosher foods and their production is "kashrut". This summary presents an overview of the main features of kashrut.
Categories of Kosher Foods: Meat, Milk & Parve
Beef, veal, lamb and venison are permitted. Meat also includes poultry, ie domestic birds such as chicken, turkey, duck and geese. Although these meats are permitted, for the meat to be kosher and acceptable for consumption, the animal/bird must have been inspected by a qualified slaughterer (Shochet), slaughtered in an accepted way and then treated so as to remove the blood from the carcass.
Animals such as pigs and kangaroos that neither have a cloven hoof now chew their cud are not kosher. Birds of prey and scavenger birds are not kosher.
Milk refers to any food that contains milk or dairy/milk derivatives.
Parve refers to a kosher food that contains neither meat nor milk. It is considered "neutral". All things that grow from the earth are, in their natural state, considered kosher and parve.
Any fish having fins and scales is also kosher and parve. Sharks, shellfish and eel are not kosher.
Food that is inherently kosher is made non-kosher if it comes in contact with any non-kosher implement, utensil or wrapping. It is for this reason that the processing of food that is to be certified as kosher is typically done under strict supervision.
Practical considerations related to the handling of Kosher Foods
Meat and dairy must be kept strictly separate. Utensils and storage devices that have been used for meat cannot subsequently be used with dairy, and vice versa. Food that is not kosher is called "treif" (pronounced to rhyme with "waif"). Some foods such as pork and lobster are inherently treif. Other foods are made treif by the ingredients, materials and/or utensils used in the processing. Materials/utensils that have been in contact with treif food will make treif any other food that touches them.
KAWA KOSHER GLOSSARY
Ach'shevei - someone who has accorded in the status of food
Achilah - eating,consuming
Achilah gassa - gluttony
Aino ben-yomo - not used within 24 hours
Assur b'achilah - prohibited to be eaten
Assur b'hana'ah - prohibited to derive benefit from
Avodah zarah - idolatry
B'rachah achrona - an after blessing
B'racha l'vatalah - b'racha said in vain
B'racha rishona - b'racha said before eating
Basar b'chalav - forbidden mixture of meat and milk
Batel - nullification,negation
Batel b'rov - negated by the majority
Batel b'shishim - negated in a ratio of 60 to 1
Ben yomo - used within 24 hours
Bidieved - ex post facto
Bircat HaMazon - the blessings after a bread meal
Bishul - cooking
Blech - metal sheet for cooking on stove top on Shabbat
Challah - Shabbat loaves or Kohen's portion of dough
Chametz - leavened bread forbidden on Pesach
Chazal - acronym for "our sages of blessed memory
Cheilev - non-kosher fats
Chok - Torah statute
Chumra - stringent application
Dam - blood
Dayan - Halachic Judge
Dinim - Laws
Gid Hanasheh - Sciatic nerve
Hagala - koshering by scalding
Halacha - Jewish law
Heter - something permitted
Iruy - pouring
Issur b'hana'ah - prohibited matter
Kasher - to make proper, kosher
Kavush - soaking
Kehillah - community
Kli Rishon - first vessel, the original vessel the food was cooked in
Kli Sheni - second vessel, poured into from kli rishon
kli Shlishi - Third vessel,poured from kli sheni
Klipah - thin removable surface
Kohen - Priest, A direct male descendent of Aaron
Lechatchilah - initially,in the first place
Libun - Kashering by heating in a fire until red hot
Libun Kal - Kashering by heating in a fire until object can char straw
Machmir - being stringent
Maikil - being lenient
Neveilah - Carrion
Orlah - the fruit of the tree in its first three years
Pagum - Stale taste
Parve - Food that is neither milk or meat
Poskim - Authoritative Rabbinic Halachic Judges
Reicha - Aroma
Riviyit - A liquid mesurementof approximately 1.5 eggs
Se'udah - A meal
Shulcan Aruch - code of Jewish law by Rabbi Y. Karo
Treif - non-kosher