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I don't think I've ever seen a rationalization for this custom in works earlier than those of the Acharonim. I've never seen any Rishonim even mention it; certainly not earlier authors.

What's the earliest source we have for the eating-dairy custom? Or does anyone mention how old it is?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The custom of eating dairy on Shavuos is mentioned by several ראשונים including:

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N"L The kol bo is the earliest out of those. –  Hacham Gabriel May 25 '12 at 5:28
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Michoel, welcome to Mi Yodeya and thanks for the informative answer! I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. Do you have a citation for where Rabenu Avig'dor mentions this custom? –  msh210 May 25 '12 at 5:29
    
@HachamGabriel, According to the blog linked, Kol Bo is speculated to have been written around the early 14th century, which makes it later than R' Avigdor. –  jake May 25 '12 at 14:39
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This is a great opportunity where translating Hebrew would elucidate the answer. –  EEE May 25 '12 at 14:56
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@HachamGabriel, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_Bo –  jake May 25 '12 at 15:43

although the custom is cited as regional minhag with different variations by several rishonim - some milk and honey etc, (as mentioned above) nevertheless the first to codify it as a minhag for yisrael was the rema in oc 494,3. see here

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great link! excellent article about "korban cheesecake". that author sure has a way with words! –  cmb Aug 2 '12 at 17:05

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