Kashrut: Dietary Laws

kosher food

Jewish Dietary Laws

What does it mean for a food to be kosher? Kosher is the Hebrew word for "fit" or "appropriate" and describes the food that Jewish law finds suitable to eat. So who decides what's kosher and what isn't? And where do the laws come from?

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Basics

Kashrut 101

Kashrut 101

Traditional Jewish practice forbids the consumption of some types of food.

Keeping Kosher

Observing Jewish dietary laws means living within boundaries.

What Does It Mean?

The many elements of a kosher diet.

Food Laws in the Bible

Certain biblical restrictions became the basis for later Jewish dietary practices.

Kosher Food

Ask an average person to describe kosher food and they might say it is food "blessed by a rabbi."

Traditions and Practices

Waiting Between Meals

Waiting Between Meals

What it means to separate meat from milk.

Kashering (Making Kosher)

Making a kitchen kosher.

Slaughtering

A survey of some of the laws governing the slaughter of kosher animals for meat.

Shopping for Kosher Food

How to buy kosher processed foods, including issues of breads, cheeses, wines.

Physical Purity

Kashrut gives us a physical sense of purity.


History

History & Development

History & Development

In the Bible, the consumption of food and drink is considered a great joy of life--and is also subject to a number of restrictions.

The Meat Boycott of 1902

Jewish homemakers mobilized the women of the Lower East Side to protest rising meat prices.

Not All or Nothing

Reform Jews have good reason to choose to observe some or all of the kosher laws.

Compassion for All Creatures

Reasoning from Maimonides, Nahmanides, and the kabbalists.

Why Kosher?: An Anthology of Answers

By Irving Welfeld

Contemporary Kashrut

Contemporary Themes

Contemporary Themes

Modern Jews balance secular knowledge and Jewish commitments to decide what and how to eat.

Personal Meaning

Recent writers reflect on what observing kashrut has meant in their own lives.

Ethical Kashrut

Bringing animal treatment, workers' conditions, and environmental issues to a kosher table.

Eco-Kashrut

Environmental standards for what and how we eat.

Fit to Eat

Even food that we think is fit to eat, might not be kosher.

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