Definition Of Kosher

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Kosher is the Hebrew term for "permissible," and refers to the types and classifications of foods that are allowed for Jews to eat. The rules are rather complicated and need to be studied to be sure that one is adhering to the correct rules. Buying foods that are certified kosher takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process of preparing meals, as the requirements for kosher certification are very exact.

Since according to kosher rules, a food that is prepared with the utensils used for another type of food may take on those characteristics, we have several instances of classification which may not seem to make sense. For example, foods classified as dairy, but which contain no actual dairy products. If they are prepared using the same utensils as dairy foods, then this will be the case.

Strict Kosher Requirements

Sometimes, it may be that the ingredients destined to be used in the production of a particular food item technically meet kosher requirements. The rabbi supervising the process may, however, see that the handling of the food has not met the high standards required for kosher food, and may refuse to allow the ingredient to be used. The strict requirements are the main reason why kosher foods are often a little more expensive than their non-kosher counterparts.

Although this state of affairs makes life difficult for producers of kosher food, it should be very reassuring to those who purchase it. Close observation by a rabbi means that kosher food is of high quality in every meaning of the word, and can be relied upon as part of a kosher diet. Due to this reputation for quality and reliability, many non-Jews opt for kosher when they are following a special diet, or when they are looking for quality food items.

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