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Knives of different size and shape (and their cases) are used for ritual purposes,such as cutting bread (challah) at festive meals, ritual slaughtering (shechitah) of animals considered pure according to Jewish dietary laws (kashrut), and the circumcision of male newborn children (brit milah or bris).
As ritual objects, knives are kept in special holding cases, often made of leather or wood, and at times inscribed with quotations referring to the laws of ritual slaughter, as well as with the names of their owners.
In the modern era, knives were produced by small (often family-owned) factories located in Europe and the United States. The marks impressed on the blades carry the names of their makers, and at times the places where the factories were located.