This rare stamp was used to indicate that meat was judged Kosher. A blue or purple food-safe dye would have been used to stamp this mark directly onto meat at the shochet, or Kosher butcher. Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of kashrut, or Jewish dietary law, which are primarily derived from Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
The laws of kashrut prescribe what foods may be eaten, as well as how those foods must be prepared. The word "Kashrut" comes from the Hebrew meaning fit, proper or correct. Although the specifics of kashrut are quite extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly straightforward rules:
Land mammals must have split hooves and chew their cud (cow, sheep, goat, and deer). If an animal does not fulfill both of these requirements, it may not be eaten (pig, rabbit, etc.). Fish must have both scales and fins and also not be a bottom feeder to be considered Kosher.
On three separate occasions, the Torah says not to "boil a kid in its mother's milk." This passage generally explains the prohibition of eating meat and dairy together. The rabbis extended this prohibition to include not eating milk and poultry together as well. It is, however, permissible to eat fish and dairy together, as fish is considered parve, neither meat nor dairy. This separation includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, as well as all kitchen appliances. A fully kosher kitchen will have at least two sets of pots, pans, dishes, and appliances: one for meat and one for dairy.
This stamp is featured in our exhibition Drawing from the B’nai B’rith Klutznick Collection, a selection of 18 acrylic and colored pencil drawings inspired by Judaica from the Klutznick collection by world-renowned Jewish artist Mark Podwal.