Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Is Kosher

Kosher (Hebrew) literally means “fit.” Kosher food is food that conforms to the dietary rules as laid out in the Torah (Hebrew Bible) and in the Talmud. Rabbis do not bless food to make it kosher. When dealing with food, the only thing rabbis bless is God, the Provider of food, as should every person who appreciates God’s role in bringing the food to our tables.

Otherwise, rabbis certify that the food is prepared according to Jewish law. In fact, any trustworthy Jew who is an expert in the laws of kashruth can certify the kosher status of food, even without being an ordained rabbi.

Kosher food is prepared according to specific rules. It must be made of only kosher ingredients, and may only be cooked in exclusively kosher pots, pans and ovens. A non-kosher oven can be made kosher by thoroughly cleaning and heating it to a very high temperature for several hours - but this needs to be done or supervised by a person well-versed in the laws of “koshering.”

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