Published September-09-05
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 6.08
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Dear Rabbi Dan,

Why can't we mix meat and dairy.

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 and dairy.

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.

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