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Kosher Terminology

Kosher is the Hebrew word meaning fit or proper, designating foods whose ingredients and manufacturing procedures comply with Jewish dietary laws.

Kashruth  (also Kashrut,kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת) is the set of Jewish religious dietary laws.

Koshering Or Kosherization
Koshering Or Kosherization – the process of changing the status of equipment which had been used with non-kosher ingredients or products, to use with kosher ingredients or products.

Kasher means to make kosher, usually applied to the salting and soaking procedures used in the production of kosher meat and poultry. The term is also used to describe the kosherization procedure of a non-kosher facility or utensil, so that it may be used in the preparation of kosher food.

Kosher for Passover (Kosher le Pesach) refers to special food preparation requirements for the passover holiday. Usually for Passover, Jews do not eat food from grain — such as wheat, barley, oats, or rye.

Kosher for Passover kitniyot refers to approved legumes, usually in the Middle East, including corn, soybeans, canola, and peanuts.

Ashkenazim are Jews who came from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Batul means to nullify. Batul refers to a situation when a small amount of one food is accidentally mixed into a larger amount of a different food. When the ratio is one part to 60 parts or less, the smaller ingredient is generally considered to be null and void.

Bishul Yisroel is food that has been cooked by a Jew.

Blech is an aluminum sheet is placed over a gas or electric fire before the Jewish Sabbath begins, enabling Jews who do not light fire on Shabbat to eat warm food.

Chalav Yisrael (cholov yisroel) are dairy products produced under constant rabbinical supervision from milking through packaging.

Chodosh means “new.”  It refers to the grain (wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt) that has not taken root before Passover. It is called “new grain.” Its consumption may be restricted until the following Passover.

Chometz refers to grain (wheat, sell, rye, oats) or grain derivatives not specially prepared for Passover under strict guidelines to avoid fermentation.

Eruv Tavshilin is a ritual that permits cooking and food preparation on the second day of the holiday (Friday) for use on the Sabbath.

Fleishig denotes meat and poultry products, as well as dishes and utensils used in their preparation.

Glatt Kosher - Glatt is the Yiddish word meaning smooth, and refers to beef from kosher slaughtered animals whose lungs are free of adhesions. Kosher consumers who are very stringent in accepting only high standards of kosher, demand that all meat products be “glatt.” Glatt is often mistakenly used to differentiate food items which have higher standards of kashruth from those which have a more relaxed level of kosher certification.

Halacha – “the path one walks”- refers to Jewish Law, the complete body of rules and practices that Jews are bound to follow, including biblical commandments, directives of the Rabbis, and binding customs.

Hashgacha means supervision, generally referring to kosher supervision.

Hechsher is the special certification marking found on the packages of products that have been certified as kosher.

Keilim are vessels or utensils.

Kli Rishon, Kli Sheni, Kli Shlishi – 1st utensil, 2nd utensil, 3rd utensil.The kli rishon (1st) is the utensil used for cooking, baking or roasting. Food may be transferred to a kli sheni (2nd) and a kli shlishi (3rd).

Mashgiach is a person trained to inspect and supervise the kosher status of a kosher establishment.

Mehadrin is the most stringent level of kosher supervision.

Mikvah is a water bath for ritual immersion.

Milchig refers to dairy products as well as dishes, utensils, and equipment used in their preparation.

Mevushal refers to wine which has been cooked.

Orla refers to the Torah commandment to wait for three years before partaking of any fruit from fruit-bearing trees. The forbidden fruit of this period is known as orla.

Parve (Hebrew) Pareve (Yiddish) is food which contains no derivatives of poultry, meat, or dairy and can therefore be eaten with either a meat, poultry or dairy meal. Pareve items include all fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, eggs, kosher fish, etc.

Pas Yisroel are baked goods (biscuits, bread, cookies) prepared in ovens which are turned on by the mashgiach.

Passover , or Pesach is the holiday commemorating the exodus from Egypt.

Sephardim are  Jews who originated in Spain and Portugal as well as Jews of Arabic and Persian backgrounds who use Sephardic liturgy.

Shechita is the Torah-prescribed manner of slaughtering an animal or fowl for consumption.

Shochet is one trained to slaughter kosher meat and poultry according to the Jewish tradition.

Shmitta is the Israeli agricultural cycle in which every seventh year the land lies fallow.

Torah in its most specific meaning, refers to the first five books of the Tanakh written in Biblical Hebrew. Their Hebrew names are the first phrase in each book: Bereshit (“In [the] beginning”, Genesis), Shemot (“Names”, Exodus), Vayikra (“He called”, Leviticus), Bamidbar (“In the desert”, Numbers) and Devarim (“Words”, Deuteronomy).

Treif (Treifah) means food that is not kosher. The term is generally used to refer to all foods, vessels, and utensils that are not kosher. Literally, it means an animal whose flesh was torn or ripped.

Tevilas Keilim means dipping of utensils, the immersion of vessels, utensils, or dishes in a mikvah before their first use.

Tovel means to dip or immerse in a mikvah.

Traiboring is the process of removing forbidden fats and veins from meat to prepare for the kashering salting process.

Yoshon means “old,” and refers to grain that has taken root before Pesach.  Even if it is harvested after Pesach, it is called “old grain.” It may be eaten without restriction. When a product is yoshon, it means that yoshon grains, including wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt, were used in its preparation.