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Kashrut and Kosher Supervision

Kashrut: Kosher Dietary Laws

The rules of kashrut dictate which animals can be eaten, how to slaughter animals, and how to separate meat and dairy. Though some of these laws are driven by compassion for animals, others are unexplained. For some Jews, vegetarianism and ecologically-conscious eating are new, relevant ways to keep kosher.


Traditional Jewish practice forbids the consumption of some types of food (certain varieties of animals, animals slaughtered by any but the accepted method, the blood of mammals or birds) and some combinations of foods (roughly, meat with milk products).

It mandates kitchen practices that help maintain those restrictions. These laws, known collectively as kashrut (literally, "fitness"), are observed in varying degrees among Jewish families and individuals. For those who choose to observe some or all of the system of kashrut, it serves as a frequent reminder of their distinct identity as Jews.

Some common kosher heckshers (symbols) are shown below:

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