Poultry and Dairy

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Question:

Why can we not eat chicken with milk products? Of course in the Tanakh we are instructed not to "boil the kid in its mother milk", and I understand that this edict is the basis of this interpretation not to eat fowl and dairy products; but as my cynical daughter remarks, "Have you ever tried to milk a chicken?".


Answer:

1. The Torah speaks of cooking meat in its mother's milk (Sh'moth 23:19). According to the Oral Tradition this applies to the meat and milk of all kosher mammals (even if one wishes to cook the meat in milk other than its mother's).


2. Cooking is a prelude to eating. The Torah prohibits cooking and eating. The Torah prohibits EVEN the cooking, not ONLY the cooking. This should be obvious, just as the Torah prohibits sexual relations with the daughter of one's daughter, but does not explicitly prohibit relations with one's daughter (see Rambam's MT Maakhaloth Asuroth 9:1).


3. The Torah speaks of mammals that suckle; fowl are thus excluded. However, poultry is a type of meat, is habitually referred to as "meat", and replaces other meats such as beef, mutton, etc. Some of the Sages felt that to avoid confusion, this prohibition should apply to all foods generally referred to as "meat". This view was eventually accepted by all the Hakhamim and became the Halakha.


4. The above applies to cooking meat in milk or eating meat cooked in milk. As for consuming milk or milk products after consuming meat - this is a separate issue.


Monday, 20 April 2009



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