I just found this article, and I thought it was cool: https://www.livescience.com/17821-kosher-bread-stamp-discovered.html. The link says that during the Byzantine Era in Horbat Uza, Jewish bakers of kosher bread would stamp their baked bread with a menorah in order to indicate that it is kosher, sort of like how the Byzantine Christians, even to this day, stamp their prosphora loaves with crosses. The link doesn't say whether the menorah stamp was used for leavened or unleavened bread.

I am wondering if this is still done, or if it was just done in the past as a way of differentiating Jewish kosher bread (marked with menorah stamps) from Christian Byzantine prosphora (marked with cross stamps).

If this is still done, where do they sell these menorah kosher bread stamps?

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    Thank you; I've edited that information into the question. (You can click the "edit" link under the question to make further changes if you like.) I didn't know about the Byzantine Christian loaves so lacked that context. – Monica Cellio Jun 17 '19 at 23:11

A similar concept is used today, in which a variety of symbols are used from various Rabbinical organizations to mark kosher food (bread included). Read more about hechsherim (singular: hechsher) here.

  • Interesting. So although there is a similar corresponding practice in modern Judaism, I take it that menorah stamps are not made anymore? – 7MessRobHackOpen Jun 16 '19 at 22:04
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    @7MessRobHackOpen Not that I know of. Although there are plenty of hechsherim which depict a menorah. – ezra Jun 17 '19 at 3:18
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    @7MessRobHackOpen note that the modern certification symbols go on the packaging; I've never seen one applied directly to a food item. – Monica Cellio Jun 17 '19 at 23:11
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    @MonicaCellio, see my answer for an example of where it is still stuck to the item. – Yishai Jun 18 '19 at 13:50

In the Netherlands the kosher bakery uses edible paper stuck to the bread to mark it as Kosher. But their symbol is a Star of David, not a Menorah.

  • Interesting - I suppose that's because after the Holocaust, the symbol of Judaism has become the Star of David whereas before that it was always the Menorah. – 7MessRobHackOpen Jun 18 '19 at 12:31
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    Neat! Marking the loaf directly eliminates the risk of the loaf being separated from its packaging (which, from a bakery, might just be a plain bag). – Monica Cellio Jun 18 '19 at 14:37

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