Wednesday, February 9, 2011

KASHRUT: Meat and milk, the Minhaguim.

Today is the 5th day of Adar I, 5771

Besides the prohibition of eating together meat and dairy, our Rabbis indicated that it is necessary to wait between eating meat or a meat product and eating milk or a diary product.

The general Sephardic Minhag (tradition, custom) is to wait six hours between meat and dairy. This rule applies equally after eating red or white meat.

If necessary, one could be lenient with a child, especially an infant, and allow him or her to have milk or dairy one or two hours after eating meat (R. Obadia Yosef).

There are other Minhaguim (traditions) which indicate that the waiting period between meat and milk is 3 or 4 hours. This is mainly the Ashkenazi custom as well as the tradition of some families in our Mashadi community. The general rule in Minhaguim is that everyone should follow the custom of his parents and families, and also be respectful of other's Minhaguim.

On a similar note, the general Sephardic Minhag is not requiring a waiting period from dairy to meat. After eating dairy you 1. wash your hands, 2. wash your mouth or drink water or soda, and 3. eat a solid Parve food (such as bread or a fruit etc) before eating meat. Many families in our community, however, still hold the Minhag to wait three hours after eating dairy before eating meat, especially after eating hard cheese.

As we've already explained, everyone should keep and follow his or her own family Minhaguim.

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024

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