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What Does It Mean to be Kosher?

what is kosher

Kosher food is SOUL food.  So what does it mean to be Kosher?  

Kosher means “fit” or “proper”,  an observance of a detailed process of both food selection and production according to the dietary guidelines put forth in the Hebrew Bible.  Kosher rules have been clarified over 3000 years by rabbinic authorities in Jewish Law.

Many people are surprised to learn that for a food to be qualified as “Kosher”, much more is needed than a simple blessing from a rabbi.  For more than 2 million Jews living in the USA, Kosher observance reveals a personal commitment to the will of the Creator with daily remembrance of lessons in sensitivity to animals, attention to detail for simple tasks, and self-control.  

According to the Hebrew Bible, there are many animals, fish, and fowl, which are permitted for consumption so long as the process of Kosher preparation is followed.

What steps in food production qualify food as Kosher?  

The pathway to Kosher certification includes meticulous handling and inspection by a specially trained Jewish person known as a “machgiach” or Kosher supervisor to insure the food is produced according to the laws of the Torah.  

  • Animals must be butchered by a “Shohet”, a rabbi expert in Kosher slaughtering technique
  • Animals must be raised in a health conscious environment, free of pesticides and hormones
  • All animals must be slaughtered as painlessly as possible
  • Mandatory salting, rinsing, and blood removal are performed under strict supervision

The machgiach scrutinizes each animal to make sure that they are healthy and free of internal organ disease.  Kosher standards are more stringent and demanding compared to the FDA and USDA.  All tools and equipment that come into contact with Kosher food must never be contaminated by anything   “non-Kosher”.

Kosher food is health food for the soul because the practice represents a lifestyle choice that connects physical food with spiritual gratification.