Food which it is forbidden for the Jew to eat, so termed after the verse: ‘And ye shall not eat any flesh that is torn [terefah] of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs’ (Exodus 27: 30). The Rabbis understand terefah as applying to any animal or fowl with a serious defect in one of its vital organs. Although the term was originally used in this sense only, it came to be used for anything forbidden by the dietary laws, the opposite, in fact, of the term kosher. The term is often shortened to treif.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.