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Grab Something Kosher!

Think of pizza loaded with cheese, spicy vegetable stir fry, or velvety chocolate ice cream. . .

How about big beefy chili dogs, juicy hamburgers, a crisp garden salad or even sushi?

Kosher food isn't alien or strange. It's healthy and delicious. Look around you---people are eating kosher everywhere.

Kosher food. Nourishment for the body and soul.

Satisfy the Body, Starve the Soul?

In today's world, more and more people are becoming health conscious.

Aerobics, weight training, and jogging seem as routine to us as brushing our teeth. Checking food labels for fand and cholesterol content is no longer a chore, but a necessity.

The physical fitness craze has created a society that is stronger and healthier. Or has it? Are we satisfying our bodies and starving our soul?

For over 3,000 years Jewish people have been eating a diet that provides sustenance for the body and spiritual elevation for the soul---a kosher diet.

Keeping kosher is G-d's will, a commandment from the Torah. Ultimately, keeping kosher as well as keeping all the other commandments in the Torah will usher in the final redemption for all mankind.

The Hebrew word kosher means "fit" or "proper." The laws of Kashrut, keeping kosher, are defined in the Bible, Talmud, and Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish Law).

While Kashrut was designed by The Creator for our spiritual upliftment and well-being, the physical and mental benefits are too great to be ignored.

In 1977 approximately 1000 products had been certified kosher. That figure has jumped to more than 20,000 products accounting for $1.5 billion in annual food sales. Kosher food is in vogue and very much on the rise.

In fact, approximately 40% of what lines the shelves at your local supermarket is kosher. You are already eating kosher foods!

Your Guide to Kosher Foods

Meat and Poultry

Beef, veal, lamb, and venison are permitted as well as other animals that have split hooves and chew their cud. These are usually animals that graze and are not predators.

Most domestic birds, like chicken, turkey, duck and geese, are kosher.

However, for meat and poultry to be considered kosher, even permitted animals must be inspected and prepared by a qualified specialist to meet rigorous standards above and beyond that of the federal government.

According to Torah law, all life must be revered. For this reason there are special laws dictating how the animal or fowl is to be slaughtered. This process follows the biblical mandate not to cause pain and suffering to any living creature.


All kosher dairy products are free of any animal by-products. Staples like milk and butter are virtually always kosher. However rabbinical supervision is required. Be sure to check one of the recognized kosher certifications called a hechsher.


Pareve is a term used to describe kosher food that contains neither dairy nor meat and is considered "neutral." Beer, soda, many fine wines, juices and fruit liquors must have a hechsher (and are usually pareve).

All things that grow from the earth are considered kosher. This encompasses all fruits, grains vegetables, nuts, flowers, seeds, roots, mushrooms, and herbs. It doesn't matter what type of plant---they are all pareve in their natural state. Once processed, however, supervision is required.

Any fish that has both fins and sclaes falls into the pareve category of kosher foods. A few examples of permissable fish are salmon, tuna, flounder, sole, halibut, whitefish, sardines, and rainbow trout. However, they must be cleaned and prepared with kosher utensils. Eggs from kosher birds are not considered meat, but are kosher and pareve.


The opposite of kosher ("fit" or "proper") is trafe. Trafe means "torn" or "damaged" and is a grouping of foods that are unfit or improper to eat.

Pork, aggressive animal meat, wild birds and birds of prey, shellfish, sea mammals, frogs, turtles, octopi and insects are forbidden.

Most animals and fish that are prohibited are predators and scavengers. To follow the old adage, "you are what you eat," ingesting these animals, according to many authorities, would be to absorb their negative instincts as well.

Keeping Kosher at Home

Meat and dairy products may not be cooked or consumed together.

You should wait six hours after eating meat before eating dairy products.

Pareve foods may be consumed with either meat or dairy.

This separation applies to the dishes, cutlery, pots, pans, ovens, and utensils used. Two sets of everything are required---one for meat and one for dairy--and are usually stored separately.

To signify that a certain food has been carefully supervised by a rabbi, a symbol (hechsher) is used. Check the products you buy. There are a number of acceptable kosher symbols and certifications. Ask your local Rabbi about any hechshers with which you are unfamiliar.

It is impossible in a brief pamphlet to describe all the laws of Kashrut. Since a full discussion of keeping kosher would fill volumes, we have provided you with a brief outline of basic concepts. For more information, please contact a competent Orthodox rabbi or teacher.

To change a non-kosher home to kosher is, admittedly, a major undertaking. Any worthwhile change is bound to be difficult. In recognition of this fact, Lubavitch has formed a Kashruth Committee to assist anyone sincerely interested in converting theirs to a kosher kitchen.

We will arrange engagements, home visitations, or consultations, with a competent rabbi or teacher to answer your questions and provide help.

For details write:

770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Austin visitors may contact Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Levertov of Chabad-Austin. For more information about the Chabad-Austin and the Chabad Jewish Student Organization, see:

Chabad House
2101 Nueces
Austin, TX 78705
Ph: (512) 472-3900

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