Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְרוּת)
refers to Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is
termed kosher in English, from the Hebrew term kash�r, meaning "fit" (in
this context, fit for consumption by Jews according to traditional Jewish
law). Jews who keep kashrut may not consume non-kosher food, but there are
no restrictions on non-dietary use of non-kosher products, for example,
injection of insulin of porcine origin.
Food that is not in accord with Jewish law is called treif (Yiddish: טרייף
or treyf, derived from Hebrew: טְרֵפָה trēf�h). In the technical sense,
treif means "torn" and refers to meat which comes from an animal containing
a defect that renders it unfit for slaughter. An animal that died through
means other than ritual slaughter (or by a botched slaughter) is called a
neveila which literally means "an unclean thing".
Many of the basic laws of kashrut are derived from the Torah's Books of
Leviticus and Deuteronomy, with their details set down in the oral law (the
Mishnah and the Talmud) and codified by the Shulchan Aruch and later
rabbinical authorities. The Torah does not explicitly state the reason for
most kashrut laws, and many varied reasons have been offered for these laws,
ranging from philosophical and ritualistic, to practical and hygienic.
By extension, the word kosher means legitimate, acceptable, permissible,
genuine or authentic, in a broader sense.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, most well known for their health message,
are predominantly vegetarian, vegan, and/or kosher.
Islam has a related but different system, named halal, and both systems have
a comparable system of ritual slaughter (shechita in Judaism and Ḏabīḥah in
Kosher Diet Books