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Suppose someone is planning on having some dairy food just before a meat meal. May the person make a bracha to cover the entire dairy/meat meal, or must he finish his dairy, make a bracha achrona, and then make a new bracha rishona on the meat?

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There are two upvoted answers with mutually exclusive answers! How do I choose which one to accept?! – Daniel Mar 19 '13 at 16:41
up vote 6 down vote accepted

According to the Mishna B'rura (494:16), one does not need to recite a b'racha acharona in between the dairy and the meat, but the tablecloth must be changed in between the dairy and the meat if both are eaten at the same table. (Nevertheless, he must clean his mouth from the dairy before eating meat).

If the dairy food was hard cheese or the equivalent, however, the person must recite birkas hamazon after his dairy meal and wait six hours before eating meat.

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The Zohar, Mishpatim, 125 (right column) writes that it is forbidden to eat meat and milk within a single meal, regardless of order, and that one must make a Berachah between them.

See also RaM"A and GR"A (11) to Y"D 89:2.

(H/t to Double AA)

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Not seeing that there.... – msh210 Mar 11 '13 at 21:01
@msh210, you're right. That's a mistake. Hmm, now I can't find it... If I self-delete, can I ping you to undelete once I find it? – Seth J Mar 11 '13 at 21:13
Sure. 15 chars. – msh210 Mar 11 '13 at 21:27
Your link is to the Zohar Chai, but bentching is also implied by the Zohar: אשכחן דכל מאן דאכיל האי מיכלא כחדא או בשעתא חדא או בסעודתא חדא ארבעין יומין אתחזיא גדיא מקלסא בקלפוי לגבי אינון דלעילא... Acc. to the Gr"a (ad loc.) the Zohar says eating in the same meal is bad, not strictly forbidden. And Rama says וכן נוהגין with respect to hard cheese. In general, there are certainly opinions both ways (e.g. see Igros Moshe OC vol 1, 160 who writes that it's good to bentch in between). See this article, esp. fn. 25-27. – Fred Mar 12 '13 at 2:18
@Fred I may have used the wrong link. I was in a few different sefarim at once. I was looking for that Zohar and had that quote in my search bar. I'll edit tomorrow, B"N. – Seth J Mar 12 '13 at 2:49

The Aderet in his sefer עובר אורח records the following incident:

ביום ב' נשא היה פה הרב ר' יוסף יצחק ראבינאוויץ נ"י הרב אב"ד קהילת טורעץ והרבה היה לנו שיחות בדברי תורה וארשום רק מעט בזה הוא סיפר לי כי פעם אחת נתארחו הרב ר' יום טוב ליפמאן הכהן ז"ל שהיה אב"ד קהילתינו מח"ס מלבושי יו"ט ויבדל לחיים טובים הרב ר' אליהו הלוי פיינשטיין נ"י האב"ד קהילת פרוזאנא מח"ס הליכות אליהו והרב ר' מאיר נח לוין שיחיה שהוא כעת מ"מ בווילנא בעיר סמאלעוויטץ והיו אצל עשיר אחד ורצה לעשות סעודה גדולה בעדם ומתחילה אכלו מאכלי חלב ואח"כ רצה שיאכלו מאכלי בשר והשנים הראשונים ברכו ברכת המזון אחר אכילתם מאכלי חלב ובהיות הרב ר' יצחק נ"י אצל הגאון מורנו מרדכי גימפל יפה זצ"ל אב"ד קהילת ראזונאי ראה ג"כ שלא הקפיד על זה ואכל מאכלי חלב ובשר בסעודה אחת

The notes on the sefer refer to the following:

עיין במגן אברהם סימן תצ"ד ס"ק ו' וע"ש בפרי מגדים יש מקום לציין את דברי החוק יעקב באו"ח סימו תצ"ד אות י"א ושם בבאר היטב ס"ק ח' בענין אכילת מאכלי בשר לאחר מאכלי חלב

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Just to summarize that story in English: Some of the poskim separated the dairy and meat courses into two meals via birkas hamazon, and other poskim continued the meal without reciting birkas hamazon immediately after the dairy course. – Fred Mar 12 '13 at 1:15

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