KASHER or KOSHER
KASHER, or KOSHER (Heb. כָּשֵׁר), term originally used in the Bible in the sense of "fit" or "proper" (e.g., Esth. 8:5; Eccles. 10:10; 11:6), and later in rabbinic literature exclusively for objects that are ritually correct and faultless. Most often it denotes food that is permitted in contrast to that which is non-kasher, or *terefah. It is also used to indicate that scrolls of the Torah, tefillin, and mezuzot are properly written, that ẓiẓit are correctly spun, and that a mikveh is properly constructed. Witnesses competent to testify in accordance with talmudic jurisprudence are also described as kasher. Recently, this word has been used popularly in Anglo-Saxon countries to indicate that which is proper and within the law.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.