Friday, September 09, 2005 I was asked the following question:
Dear Rabbi Dan,
Why can't we mix meat and dairy.
was my response:
Torah prohibits us from "cooking the calf (infant animal) in
it's mother's milk." In and of itself, this is a very clear and precise edict.
In order to safeguard this edict, the rabbis of old determined to "fence it off"
and did so by making it a violation not only to cook the two together but also
to eat them both at the same time. To further "fence it off", they concluded
that a period of time between eating the two needed to be established. Common
practice is to allow 3 hours between dairy and meat and six hours between meat
In some parts of the world, the "time zones" has met with alterations.....the
time between dairy and meat span anywhere from the original 3 hours to as little
as rinsing one's mouth. The time between meat and dairy spans anywhere from the
original 6 hours to 72 minutes (in Holland)...other variations in time can be
found throughout the world.
The original prohibition considered the inhumanity of taking a calf from a
mother, milking the mother and then cooking the calf in that mother's milk.
Animals have feelings, as witnessed by a mother bear attacking anyone or
anything that poses a threat to her cubs. Hashem in his infinite wisdom
gave us these laws for His (her) own reasons...we do not know that reasoning and
can only abide by it being HIS will.
you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices
and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail.
I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the
question is informative to our community.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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