Chelm.org's Kashrut Class - Milk and Meat
-> l3 - milk & meat
One of the strictures most identified with
is the separation of milk and meat. These find their origins in the
Torah where it says three different times (Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26
and Deuteronomy 14:21) not to cook a kid in its mother's milk. The
Oral law expands this to the complete separation of milk and meat, and
the Rabbis in the
extend this to include bird meat. There are many reasons given for this
attributes it as a prevention of an idolatrous and superstitious
practice. Others attribute as a discouragement from a cruel practice.
This practice has many possible explanations; we should not try to
stick the reason to any one.
This triple repetition of the warning in the Torah is taken to mean
three types of prohibition.
The Rabbi's interpreted the separation very strictly. No meat product
can come in contact with any milk product in any way. The term
designates food made from or utensils used with such food.
designates food made for meat or utensils used with such food.
- You may not cook such an admixture
- You may not eat such an admixture
- You may not benefit (in any way) from such an admixture
There is a third category called
This is a food that is not derived from milk or meat and is not
cooked with a
utensil. This food can be eaten with either milk or meat (although
in certain circumstances use of a milk or meat utensil will render
foods include all vegetables, grains, fruits, eggs and fish.
Originally birds were considered
(when was the last time you saw a chicken give milk?), but the Rabbis
ruled that bird meat should be considered
to avoid confusion.
food can not be eaten together. There is a waiting period (depending
on your tradition) of 70 minutes to six hours after eating meat before
it is permissible to eat
food. No waiting period is required after eating
food before eating
food. The way to remember this is that
is a prohibition on eating meat, not milk. To this end, a food cooked in
utensils, but is in all other ways
, require no waiting period before eating
food. Although in these two situations (milchig before
no wait is necessary, a small wait is preferable to make sure the
mouth is clean. There is a rule that one must wait an hour after
hard cheese for just this reason (a hard cheese being defined as a
cheese that has sat for six months or more). It is permissible for
two people to eat together, one eating
milchig, as long as there is
a definite separation between the two.
Along with not eating
food together, they also can not come in contact while cooking.
Again this is fairly strict. Any utensil that is used with
food can not come in contact with
food or milchig utensils, and vice versa. The net impact of this is
two separate sets of utensils. One for
food, and one for
foods. This also means a separate set of dishes. It is best to store
utensils separately, and mark utensils so that they are clearly
differentiated (like red nail polish on
utensils). Food cooked in the wrong pot is
Many Jews have separate condiments to avoid mixing (since food
and condiments often come in contact).
There are in the typical kitchen several areas of overlap. These are :
This prohibition from benefiting from mixing milk and meat is
generally interpreted fairly strictly (so buying a cheeseburger for
a non-Jewish friend is forbidden). It should be pointed out that the
mixing of milk and meat only applies to meat made from clean animals
(so you can buy your friend a ham and cheese sandwich). Also the
stricture is stronger for cooked food than uncooked food (as can be
deduced from the Torah statement). Milk and meat that accidentally
mixed - but is not cooked - can be sold or given away. Milk and meat
that is mixed and cooked must be thrown out.
- Glassware - glass was considered non-absorbent by the Rabbis. As
a result glass can be used interchangeably between
as long as it is well cleaned. The custom among Askenazic Jews is to
soak the glass 72 hours before interchanging, the
say soaking is unnecessary.
- Sinks - There are two ways to handle the sink. If you have a
double sink (which is stainless steel - so it can be
if needed), one half can be used for
and one half for
If this is impractical (due to the way you use your kitchen - or
if you have a garbage disposal on one side), then you should treat
you sink a
treif. Utensils and food should
then not touch it (for they would become
Individual dish racks (one for
the other for
should be used in the sinks to avoid contact. In
sinks, you may not soak utensils or food. A separate -
- basin must be used.
- Ovens and ranges - It is not necessary to have separate ovens
and ranges for
fleishig. If the same oven
is used for
great care should be taken to avoid spills and splatters.
food should not be cooked in the same oven at the same time. Grills
used for one can not be used for the other without
ing. When cooking on top of a range
food, food should be covered, and great care needs to be taken. It is
best to specify which burners are
and which are
covering the unused side when the other is in use with a towel. Many
people avoid this problem by having separate ovens.
- Dishwashers - A dishwasher can be used for both
dishes, but not at the same time. Dishes should be well rinsed before
being put in the dishwasher. Between
loads, a rinse cycle should be used. Also it is preferable to have
separate racks for
loads. Many people make this easier by using the dishwasher for
either milk or meat, and hand washing the other.
- Towels - Towels that are freshly clean can be used either
. Once they are used for one or the other, they must be washed
before use with the other. It is best to have different towels for
each to avoid confusion.
-> l3 - milk & meat
Last updated on Aug 9, 1999 at 4:57 PM
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copyright 1999 - Steven Ross Weintraub