Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Imagine a case in which one is invited to volunteer with a group that is preparing and serving a meal at a homeless shelter. The group has decided on a menu that includes milk and meat together in the same "main dish" recipe. The volunteer group as well as the homeless recipients are almost all non-Jews.

In a situation like this, is it OK to participate as a volunteer? Does it matter if the volunteer does not directly work with the meat and milk mixture (e.g. preparing or serving the dessert or salad, instead)?

share|improve this question
This is a good question, but for matters of practical application, please contact your rabbi – Charles Koppelman Oct 7 '13 at 19:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Let's assume the people eating it are all non-Jews. At that point the only problems (that I can think of) are: cooking meat and milk together, and benefiting from meat-and-milk-cooked-together.

If you're just doing the dessert, cleanup, or setup, I can't see that as tangible benefit from the main course. (Feeding it to your dog when you would otherwise have to shell out for dog food, for instance, would be a problem.)

Cooking together is a much more serious problem. In a pinch, there are situations where some rely on the Dagul Mervava who follows Rambam's opinion, that the prohibition on cooking is only on kosher-slaughtered meat (which this isn't, assuming you're not in Israel). But it's really best to avoid this one.

share|improve this answer
Would serving (but not cooking) the main course fit into your second paragraph or your third? – Isaac Moses Oct 7 '13 at 19:40
Does טובת הנאה not apply to food? – Seth J Oct 8 '13 at 3:17

I think the prohibitions on cooking or deriving benefit would not apply at all when either the meat or the milk comes from a non kosher species of animal (e.g. if the meat was pork), which might be the case here. See Milk and Meat of Non-Kosher Animal Species .

share|improve this answer
Agreed. If it's a not-kosher species it's not a problem (absent concerns, according to some, of what it may look like); if it's kosher-slaughtered beef it's definitely a problem; if it's beef that wasn't kosher slaughtered, it's a debate. – Shalom Oct 8 '13 at 18:08
It's probably beef – Desert Star Oct 8 '13 at 18:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.