What Does Kosher Mean?

What Does Kosher Mean?

So, what does kosher mean? Though most people probably think of the Jewish dietary laws when they think of the word kosher, but the word kosher actually means clean, proper or fitting. The word kosher can refer to pretty much any concept. One can refer to a "kosher business deal," a "kosher person," or "kosher thoughts," and in fact, concepts such as these are very important in the Orthodox Jewish world. But honestly, when using the word "kosher" by itself it usually refers to food fit to it for an orthodox Jew.

What Does Kosher Mean in Terms of Food?

Keeping kosher may seem complex but it's not really so difficult. There are a few laws that need to be followed, which come from the Torah. Flesh, eggs and milk from forbidden animals may not be consumed. Certain parts of permitted animals must also be avoided.

For more on what food is kosher clic here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

What is kosher meat?


Animals that are kosher are those that have split hooves and chew their cud, and these animals must have a proper, ritual slaughter. Meat may only be consumed with pareva, or neutral, foods. Those include eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables and grains. However meat may not be consumed together with dairy foods.

Meat, Dairy and Parve

Utensils, dishes and appliances must be either meaty, dairy or pareva, and they must be kept separate and may not come in contact with the opposite or with unkosher food. When one knows what is kosher meat, they must be careful to keep that meat away from dairy products, which will quickly make the meal unkosher, or trayfa.

Kosher Zone Diet

Dr. Barry Sears has founded the famous Zone Diet, the Zone 1-2-3 Program is that it only requires substitution of patented Zone Foods for the ingredients you usually use to make the meals you like to eat. While Dr. Sears hasn't adopted it directly for the Kosher consumer, you can find info on how to adopt the Zone Diet to kosher recipes here, and here. On the zone diet, foods are eaten in certain ratios, and can easily be made into a kosher zone diet.

Empire kosher chicken

Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. is the largest kosher poultry producer in America. Practicing and strictly observing the Jewish dietary laws, Empire Kosher chicken dependably produces the best tasting and highest quality all-natural poultry products

Here is one delicious kosher recipe chicken soup. Take one Empire kosher chicken, cooked, shmaltz (chicken fat), two onions, peeled and sliced, two stalks of chopped celery, two carrots, parsley and chicken broth. Melt the shmaltz in a large pot and fry the vegetables. Add the chicken stock, salt, freshly ground black pepper and the kosher chicken, and heat everything through.

This simple and delicious soup will also fit into a kosher Zone Diet. For another great chicken soup recipe clic here.

The word 'kosher' in other terms

When asking "What does kosher mean?" it's important to realize that the term does not only apply to things like Empire kosher chicken or a kosher zone diet. In Orthodox Jewish law, or Torah law, what comes out of one's mouth is as important as what goes into it. Kosher speech is a large part of of Judaism. There are laws that govern how one must speak. The laws of lashon hara, or evil speech, are the most well known of these laws. Simply, the laws of lashon hara state that one may not speak negatively about anyone else, even if what is spoken is true.

Ona'as Devorim, or hurtful words, are also prohibited by the Torah. Causing a person embarrassment is akin to spilling that person's blood. Nivul peh is disgusting speech is another type of speech that is not allowed. This includes jokes that are in bad taste and curse words. The Torah commands us to have kosher speech by using our words wisely.

So, what does kosher mean? It's not only about food, though that is a big part of it. Kashrut can apply to what a person does, thinks, says or eats.

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