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Can someone explain the word "kosher" to me?

Sorry if I'm being ignorant, but I am confused about the meaning of this word.  I had always thought that it meant that an animal had been blessed by a Rabbi before being killed, but I keep seeing the word on nut bars and stuff that clearly doesn't contain meat.  Does a Rabbi bless things other than animals to make it kosher?  Sorry if this is a stupid question, I honestly don't understand the meaning of the word.  I hope no one takes offense to this!
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Re: Can someone explain the word "kosher" to me?

  • maybe it's because the bar contains some sort of dairy product, and since that comes from an animal it needs to be kosher.

    I'm not really sure though but that's what makes sense to me.  

  • The specific ad I'm looking at says Dairy Free and Vegan, though, so that's what's confusing me.
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  • I think anything can be "blessed" to make it kosher,,,,?
  • I'm not Jewish, but have worked with many Jewish people and the owners of the company I work for are also Jewish. The word Kosher means proper or acceptable ? in the English sense, since there is more biblical reference to the word. There are three categories of Kosher food - Meat, Dairy and Parve (or Pareve).

    Meat - For an animal to be Kosher, it must have split hooves and chew its cud. (Examples: cow, goat, lamb.) Non-Kosher animals must be slaughtered by a specialist and then soaked and salted in accordance with Jewish law.

    Dairy - Milk and milk products (cheese, cream, butter, etc.) of a Kosher animal are Kosher-Dairy. These may not be eaten in combination with meat or fowl.

    Parve - Foods which contain neither meat nor dairy ingredients are called "Parve." All fruits, grains and vegetables in their natural state are Kosher and Parve. Fish which have fins and scales are Kosher and Parve. A Parve item can become either dairy kosher or meat kosher when it is cooked together with food in either category.

    To meet kosher standards (kosher seal you see in stores) food must be prepared under a rabbi's supervision and all ingredients that are used in preparing the item are all Kosher too. In our factory for example, we have a rabbi come in to inspect how the product is made and with what ingredients, and if approved the item is registered with the Orthodox Union for certification. They have strict guidelines, and if you want to read up on it you can go to www.oukosher.org

    That should get you started!! There?s a lot to understand about Kosher and non-Kosher, but the above might help. Hopefully I?m not completely off!
  • Wow, thanks Vicki!  I didn't realize it was so complicated!
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  • good info Vicki!
    I always like the Rabbi who came to the spice factory when I worked there.??
    Friends of mine kept two sets of dishes at home, for kosher and non-kosher foods!
  • Glad the info helped! I also never realized just how complicated it was! There is a lot more to understand, and I think what I wrote just touched the surface. I have friends who have 2 sets of dishes/cutlery too used for Passover.

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