ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keeping Kosher

Updated on April 14, 2014

Kosher sybols

Here is a list of symbols to find on food.
Here is a list of symbols to find on food.
This symbol is for the Chicago rabbinic council
This symbol is for the Chicago rabbinic council
Union of orthodoxx
Union of orthodoxx

How to Keep Kosher

Have you ever met someone who said they 'kept kosher'? What does that mean? Well, there is not real clear cut answer. Keeping kosher can mean a variety of different ways to keep kosher. Since there are different denominations of Judaism and within those denominations each person can find what is meaningful for them there are lots of ways to 'keep kosher'.

Keeping kosher has to do with eating food which has been deemed kosher by a rabbi. Certain animals such as bottom feeders, pigs are not kosher, shell fish, not even a rabbi can change that. The back quarter of the cow is not kosher. The animal needs to be slaughtered in a certain way for it to be considered kosher. In food production plants there needs to be supervision so that food is not mixed, either meat and milk on the same machine or if the machine is used to cut up bacon the machine could not be used to cut up kosher meat.

Sometimes people will require that every food product to have a hechsher in order to be in their home. Others will require a hechsher on some food items but not all. For instance meat must have a hechsher but not raisins. For some even salads items need to be deemed kosher because they have small bugs in them which make them not kosher. Most items found in the store already have hechshers they just are not noticed because unless they mean something to you they could be just another symbol for the product.

Another aspect of keeping kosher is not mixing meat and milk. No cheese burgers, no corn chip pie or chocolate shake with your burger.When making a turkey sandwich or hamburger the bread needs to be parve. Parve means there is not dairy or meat in the product. It is sort of a limbo product and can be used either way. Most of the time the issue about parve is concerning meat. When having coffee after a meat meal the creamer must be parve for those that do not want dairy products following a meat meal. Again, there are a variety of ways this can happen and it all depends on the person and their way of keeping kosher. Keeping kosher is not a one size fits all.

  • some people do not eat meat/dairy together at all during a meal and will wait six hours before having dairy after a meat meal.
  • another way is to eat a meat meal and wait three hours before having a dairy dessert
  • some will eat a meat meal without dairy, clear the table then have a dairy dessert without any wait time
  • still others will eat meals in 'kosher style' meaning the meat may not be kosher but they do not mix meat and dairy

For some keeping kosher will come up for special events, so you could have a friend who will eat anything any time you see them but will want their weeding to have a kosher caterer. This has to do with making sure everyone in the Jewish community can come and eat and some feel that any celebration needs to be kosher, even those who do not keep kosher regularly, want to add ritual to their celebration and keeping it kosher brings that added sanctity.

If someone tells you they keep kosher do not worry about walking around nervously thinking they will have nothing to eat. Most things in your home probably have a hechsher and something can be made for dinner. Someone who keeps kosher is able to go into different settings and find something to eat at the level of kashrut we keep. Any level of kashrut is important to the person choosing to keep kosher in that way.

Eating out and Keeping Kosher

Someone can keep kosher in their homes but when they eat out they do not keep the same rules. But even this has different levels. Someone can choose to eat out, which by strict law unless the restaurant is kosher then nothing made in it is kosher. So if someone decides they eat out here are a few varieties

  • a person could eat salad choosing not to eat anything cooked
  • they could eat just fish, cooked but no meat
  • some people choose to eat anything except bottom dwellers and pork when eating out

Every person has a different choice on how to make meaning from their level of kashrut/keeping kosher

Reasons for Keeping Kosher

For some keeping kosher has to do with labor laws, ethical kashrut. So for them they will only buy food from producers or farmers which can prove their labor workers are treated fairly. This kind of kashrut might not have an hechsher because the focus is on people being treated fairly not the law of kashrut.

Some keep kosher by keeping along the lines of organic. They will buy meat and other food kosher or not from organic or free range farmers. Recently there has been a movement which has local farmers have a rabbi supervise the slaughter of the animal then they bring the meat to the synagogue for people to buy. Usually the meat is pre-ordered so that the farmer does not loos out on the sale.

Keeping Kosher and Passover

During Passover the level or keeping kosher becomes over then top. We clean out all our cabinets, get out dishes which are only for Passover, eat food that only has hechshers that say Kosher for Passover. And we are not to eat anything that germinates, flour, wheat, etc. None of the food can be made in a plant where the possibility of chametz can be in the packaging. Chametz is what you call food which is not Kosher for Passover. Some people will make sure all their food which is chametz is gone before Passover. Others will 'sell' their chametz to someone not Jewish for a penny and then buy it back from them when Passover week is over. Again, within Passover, as with other kashrut times there are varieties for how to keep kosher during Passover.

  • not everyone changes out dishes-some will use the same dishes during the week of Passover
  • some people eat out during the week but stay away from bread products while others will only eat the food labeled Kosher for Passover
  • some will eat only Kosher for Passover food during the sedirim (seder nights) but will eat regular food after
  • some people sell their chametz while others will keep their chametz in a cabinet and just label it 'Not for Passover'

How many symbols can you find?

Go to your grocery store or your kitchen cabinet and find how much of your food has a hechsher

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)