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Pareve Answer

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Topic: Parve, Definition

Elly Goldberg from South Africa wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

"Pareve" is a very common term. Has it always been this way, and when did it originate? Also, what is the source of the word? Thank You.

Melissa Taylor from Raleigh, North Carolina wrote:

I have a company who has a labeling issue. They need to know whether the spelling for a Kosher food is parve, pareve or parave. Could you please tell me the difference if their is one?

Dear Elly Goldberg and Melissa Taylor,

Pareve comes from a Yiddish word meaning something that is neither meat nor milk. It's not clear exactly when it was introduced into the lexicon, and which from which language it originated (Yiddish is compilation of many languages). It does not appear in Shulchan Aruch. There are similar words in the Talmud, but they seem to have no connection.

Webster's dictionary spells it "pareve." "Parve" also looks O.K., and it's one letter shorter so you'll save on printing costs! But I suggest you ask the Rabbi supervising the kashrut of your product.

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