Focus Questions

How is this object different to similar objects you have at home?

Which part of the object do you notice most?   Why that part?

What type of soup do you think should be put into this dish?

Have you noticed...How old this plate is? When do you think this bowl was made? Click to reveal answer

This soup bowl was made in 1770 so it is nearly 250 years old.

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Soup Dish

Soup Dish

This soup dish was made in England and has a Hebrew word in the centre.  This word tells us what types of food should be put into the dish.

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The Object

Object name: Soup Dish
Date: 1770
Catalogue number: C 1982.10.19.1
Material(s): Ceramic plate with a tin glaze
Size: 25cm diameter
On display in the Jewish Museum? Yes

  • This object was made to be used by a Jewish family who kept the laws of Kashrut (Kosher). 
  • Look closely at the object to find the letters in the centre of the plate.  This word is written in Hebrew so the letters are read right to left.  The word written is basar which in English means flesh (of the body).  This word tells us that this dish is to be used for meat.

The Story

Laws of Kashrut (Keeping Kosher)
The laws of Kashrut (Kosher) say that you must not cook or eat dairy and meat together.  Jewish people who decide to keep Kosher will sometimes have different plates for meat meals and dairy meals.  This soup dish was designed to only be used for meat soup with no dairy in it.

There are many rules in the laws of Kashrut, keeping milk and meat separate is just one of these rules.  Other rules include only eating animals that chew the cud and have split hooves, which means cow and sheep are ok to eat but pigs are not.

The laws of Kashrut are written in the Torah and there is no explanation for why Jewish people should keep the laws or why certain things are kosher and others are not.  Many religious Jewish people do not need a reason, they only need to know that it was written in the Torah and therefore it is God’s word and should be done.  Not all Jewish people keep Kosher and many people keep some of the rules but not all of them.

Digital Takeaway

Download this PDF about how to cook Kosher