Sarah's dishes and utensils designated for meat or dairy
Why is kosher kept? The basis of kosher is derived from Exodus 23:19: “Thou shalt not boil a kid in it mother’s milk.” Meat and dairy must never come together. Everything else is referred to as “parve,” and can be eaten with with meat or dairy. Utensils and dishes must be kept separate for each, as well as dish rags, cutting boards, etc. If one touches the other, the utensils are “traif”, meaning they can’t be used for either. There are laws regarding how long you must wait to eat dairy after meat (anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on your rabbi) and vice versa. There are laws regarding what animals you can eat and what cuts of meat: chickens, cows, fishes. No rabbits. No Shellfish. They must be slaughtered in a certain way and all the blood must be drained before consumption.
100 years ago, Jewish immigrants were divided into two categories: those attempting to preserve their traditions in America, and “Oyster Eaters,” those becoming more liberal and more “American” in their observances.
There’s more to it than that. Nuances and laws I’ll cover over the next few days (or you can brush up at jewfaq).
As the daughter of a Catholic, I viewed kosher like a Catholic would: this is a thing you do and if you don’t do it, you’ll burn in hell. Not so. As my colleague Judy explained it: “This is the thing you do to show your are different than your neighbors. It’s the thing you do to show you are Jewish.”
So for the next three days, my dairy will not touch my meat.