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What is the difference between kosher and pareve items?

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Kosher literally means 'fit'. When food is kosher it means that the food was prepared following the laws of kashrut (Jewish dietary law). (meat- animals that chew their cud and have split hooves, fish- fins and scales, all meat must be killed a certain humane way. Milk can only come from a kosher animal, milk and meat cannot be mixed, etc)

The word parve is a term used to describe a certain type of kosher food. Something that is parve is dairy and meat free and includes all fruits and vegetables, eggs, and fish. This term is helpful in identifying whether a food can be mixed with meat or milk.

There are four categories of food in kashrut:
  1. fleishig - containing meat
  2. milchig - containing dairy
  3. parve - non- dairy, non- meat
  4. treif - not kosher

Note: Although fish is considered pareve, it is tradition that fish and meat are not served on the same plate. Also, some groups do not combine fish and dairy.
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