Take the 2-minute tour ×
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. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I remember learning that the reason you don't eat milk with beef is because you shouldn't cook a calf in its mother's milk. However, when you are dealing with two different species, this same logic doesn't seem to hold. Is there another explanation for why this isn't kosher?

share|improve this question
    
Show me a chicken or a fish with teats and you'll see what confused looks like. I find it more confusing labeling a product made exclusively from soybeans as "milk" than any fear I might have that I'll confuse a chicken or a fish with red meat under any circumstance that I would be willing to eat either, with or without milk. I'll have my chicken schnitzel parve with a slice of Swiss - thank you. You don't have to kiss me if you don't like it. –  user838 Aug 26 '11 at 5:37
    
related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7927/… –  Menachem May 1 '12 at 5:43
    
so why can't chicken be eaten with milk even though its mother has no milk? it makes no sense! my family had a fight about it and their answer was "thats just the way it is" - not very fulfilling answer! help please answer this question :) –  user1540 May 28 '12 at 7:42
    

3 Answers 3

The Torah's prohibition of cooking a young animal in mother's milk, as stated above, applies to mammal's meat in mammal's milk. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes that meat is about taking, and milk is about giving.

As birds don't have "mother's milk", there is no Biblical prohibition on chicken-cooked-in-milk. However, the rabbis of the Talmud prohibited it, for fear of mistakes. This distinction is an important one when understanding Judaism, and is stressed by Maimonides.

share|improve this answer

another answer is that milk is associated with birth and life... mother's milk

while meat is associated with death...

and we separate life and death...

share|improve this answer
2  
Hello srr, and welcome to mi.yodeya! Thanks for your interesting symbolic answer. It would be enhanced and enriched by a citation to a print source. Also consider receiving all the benefits of being a fully-registered mi.yodeya user by clicking Register at the top of your page. –  WAF Apr 17 '11 at 2:56
    
ohr Hachaim hakodesh I am not sure where –  simchastorah Aug 26 '11 at 6:03

Well, m'doraita it is applied to all meat and all milk from animals similar to goats (domesticated, kosher animals like cows and sheep, but would exclude foul, fish, and non-domesticated like deer and no-nkosher like pigs). The passuk just mentions it that way because that was a common way of doing it. Chazal darshen three issurim from the three times it appears in Chumash

  1. The issur to cook meat and milk together
  2. The issur to eat meat and milk cooked together
  3. The issur to benefit from milk and meat cooked together (Such as selling meat cooked with milk.)

Chazal also made additional laws on top of the basic laws of the Torah to prevent people from making mistakes. Rabbi Yose haGalili permitted milk and chicken to be cooked together, because chicken is a bird and the law of the Torah is about four-legged animals. Rabbi Akiva disagreed and throught people could get confused between different kinds of meat. Halakha is like Rabbi Akiva.

share|improve this answer
    
Rentsy, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the informative answer! We'd love to have you as a fully-registered member, which you can accomplish at mi.yodeya.com/users/login –  Isaac Moses Apr 15 '11 at 14:06
3  
Also, Rentsy, you might want to de-jargonify the answer a bit. –  Alex Apr 15 '11 at 16:07
1  
Then why not fish as well? –  yydl Apr 15 '11 at 21:02
2  
Chicken (or other birds) are somewhat similar to animal meat (they both have to be slaughtered and drained of blood; they're both sold in butcher shops). Fish is so dissimilar to meat that there's no concern about mistakes. –  Alex Apr 15 '11 at 21:26

Your Answer

 
discard

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.