Kosher Glossary

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Glossary of Kosher terms:

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Alef Beis

Hebrew letters Alef and Beis. ABC basics of something. Alef Beis of Hashgocho means basics of supervision.

Basar / Bossor

Refers to meat and any meaty products. Fleishig for the Yiddish usual equivalent.


Hebrew – “inspection” or “search”. The search the shochet does of the internal organs to insure the animals fitness for consumption.

Cholov Yisroel

Refers to milk and any dairy product that is produced under constant rabbinical supervision from milking through packaging stages.

Cholov Stam

Milk which meets the official national set of requirements, whose controls are considered sufficient to prevent any mixing of cow’s milk with milk from a non-Kosher animal, and therefore considered Kosher. Cholov Stam milk production is not supervised by a rabbi.


Yiddish word for “of meat” or meaty. Used to identify meat products, utensils and equipment.One of the three major food groups: Meat,dairy and neutral.

Glatt Kosher

Refers to the status of meat which is determined to be in accordance with the highest standards of Kashrut. Kosher animals which have been properly slaughtered, whose lungs are free of questionable lesions, and whose Kashrut status has never been doubted can be referred to as glatt. Glatt Kosher applies to Meat from animals, not to poultry or any other food product.


Kosher supervision. Also, the copyrighted symbol that appears on a products, attesting to its Kosher status. Each mark indicates the endorsing rabbinical authority. Currently there are nearly four hundred rabbinical supervision authorities that provide “hechsher” services.

Kashrut / Kashrus

General reference to the subject of Kosher food and Kosher supervision.

Kosher For Passover

In addition to meeting the year round requirements for Kosher, foods must also meet the Passover dietary laws, which prohibit the use of any fermented grain products (Chametz), during the entire Passover holiday. Many of the products that are Kosher all year, require additional supervision for Passover.


Hebrew means “proper” or “fit” for use, particularly applying to food. Food prepared according to a set of often complicated Rabbinical and Biblical dietary laws. e.g. meat and dairy may not be eaten together etc.

Koshering /Kashering

To make something (food, utensil, equipment) Kosher by using proper procedures prescribed by Jewish Law.


The person that supervises, inspects, and monitors the production of Kosher food.

Matzoh /Matze

matzoh: Unleavened bread eaten at Passoverwhen leavened bread is not permitted. The grain is often used to make balls served in soup.


Yiddish word for “of milk”; used to identify any dairy product, utensil and equipment.One of the three major Kosher food groups: Meat,dairy and neutral.


Refers to “neutral” – a status of Kosher food which is not considered either meat, poultry, or dairy, and is prepared on or with “neutral” equipment. One of the three major Kosher food groups: Meat,dairy and neutral.


Hebrew – “slaughtering”. Kosher slaughtering of animals.

Shochet / Schoihet

Hebrew – “slaughtering”.Hebrew – “slaughterer”. A person highly skilled in the anatomy of animal and Laws of Shehito. He is trained in the rituals of slaughter, and is allowed to perform shechito.

Shulchon Oruch

The last major codification of Jewish law agreed on by most of the autorities. Written in the mid 16th century by R. Joseph Karo and amended by R.Moses Isserles from Krakow.

Shuman /Shumon

Hebrew means “fat”.The term for fat which is permissible to eat


Hebrew means “neutral”. Describing food that contains neither milk nor meat. “Parve” or innocuous food


Compilation of the Oral Law (Mishne) and the original rabbinic ruling on it (Gemoro).

Tahor /Tohor

Hebrew means “pure” or “ritually clean”.

Tamei /Tomeh

Hebrew – “impure” or “ritually unclean”.

T’refah / Treife /Treiyf

Hebrew from taraf “to tear”.Unfit food.The opposite of Kosher. Food which would otherwise be Kosher can become treyf if certain certain rules of preparation are not followed.