• Fleshig (Basari)

    Food that is made from meat (either mammal or poultry), which according to kashrut law, must be kept separate from dairy foods.

  • Heksher

    A printed certification that a particular food is kosher. The most common heksher in the United States is issued by the Orthodox Union, and looks like a small letter “u” within a circle. Hekshers will often also indicate if a food is fleshig, milchig, or pareve, and whether it may be eaten on Passover.

  • Kashrut

    The Jewish dietary laws. This system of law, which includes restrictions on eating the flesh of certain animals (pork, shellfish, etc), the separation of meat and dairy, and specific regulations about how animals are slaughtered and prepared, introduce spiritual discipline and awareness to the act of consumption.

  • L’Chaim

    “To Life!” the quintessential Jewish toast at any festive occasion.

  • Milchig (Chalavi)

    Foods containing dairy ingredients, which the Jewish dietary laws teach should be kept separate from foods containing meat.

  • Motzi

    The blessing before eating a meal containing bread. It goes like this: “Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam, ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz” meaning, “Blessed are You, God of all the Universe, who brings forth bread from the Earth.”

  • Netilat Yadayim

    The prayer recited after ritually washing hands before eating bread. The traditional hand-washing is modeled after the way that the priests used to purify themselves before offering sacrifices. Water is first poured into a vessel, and then spilled over each hand three times. After completing the hand-washing and saying the blessing, it is customary to maintain silence until bread has been eaten.

  • Pareve

    A food that is neither meat nor dairy, and can thus be eaten with either. Pareve foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, eggs, and fish. One should be careful to check the ingredients of processed foods, as sometimes they will contains dairy or animal based ingredients.

  • Shechita

    The method of kosher slaughter, involving an extremely sharp knife and a single cut to the animal’s throat, rendering an almost immediate and painless death.

  • Treif


  • Tzaar Baalei Hayim

    The mitzvah of showing compassion to animals. While the Jewish Tradition permits the consumption of meat, it is a violation of Jewish law to raise or slaughter animals in a way that is unethical or causes unnecessary suffering.