When you eat meat, when do the 6 hours that you have to wait begin? When you start eating or when you end?

Sources are always appreciated.

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    when you end eating not bentching no source Jan 5, 2012 at 0:46
  • Heard that recently, but didn't see a source. Jan 5, 2012 at 0:47
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    @HachamGabriel The question is on the peirushim not me. If you have to wait after taking one bite of meat outside of a meal, then it clearly has nothing to do with earlier bites or the meal. After every bite you take, your "timer" restarts back to 6 hours. (And by the way it seems that nearly everyone quoted is saying like me.) The question is on the other opinions.
    – Double AA
    Jan 5, 2012 at 3:43
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    I heard the 6 hours only starts after all the meat is out of your body. Ok, I'm lying.
    – avi
    Jan 5, 2012 at 9:44
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    @DoubleAA In defense of the wording for those who require 6 hrs. after the meal (if thy need a defense): The Shulchan Aruch say "If one ate meat..." If he means meat without a seudah, then that does not denote the halacha for a meal. If he meant meat with a meal, then "after it" could imply after the meal.
    – YDK
    Jan 5, 2012 at 19:11

4 Answers 4


The Dagul M'Rvava (Yoreh Deah, Siman 89) holds that one must wait 6 hours from when he finishes eating meaty until he starts the meal with the milky. Aruch HaShulchan says one must wait from the end of the meaty meal until the beginning of the milky meal. Rav Elyashiv says that the prevailing minhag is to wait from when one finishes eating meaty until he starts eating milky.


The Minhag according to Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita,Dugel Mirvuva 1, Tamei Haminhagim page 489 (footnote, quoting the Zechor L'Avraham), Darchei Teshuva 4, and the Kaf Ha’chaim 9, is that the counting begins when you are finished eating meat and not from when the meal ends. For example, if on Shabbos your done eating meat at 1:30, and the meal (after talking and eating dessert) finished an hour later at 2:30, one begins counting the six hours from 1:30.


The basis for 6 hours is a statement in Chullin 105a.

אמר מר עוקבא אנא להא מלתא חלא בר חמרא לגבי אבא דאילו אבא כי הוה אכיל בשרא האידנא לא הוה אכל גבינה עד למחר עד השתא ואילו אנא בהא סעודתא הוא דלא אכילנא לסעודתא אחריתא אכילנא

And he says 'from one meal to the next'. This statement of Mar Ukva immediately follows the statement that בשר שבין השינים מהו קרי עליה (במדבר יא, לג) הבשר עודנו בין שיניהם

And as such, the concern can be interpreted to be one about the meat in between the teeth. The Rambam (Hilkhot Ma'akhalot Asurot 9:28), on the basis of this, is concerned about meat between the teeth, and so says to wait about six hours. This would seem to be from the end of the meal, for that would be the last meat between the teeth.

Rashi's reason is that it is moshech taam befeh. If so, it would also presumably do this from the end of the meal.

We Ashkenazim pasken like Tosafot that this is a lo plug rabanan that as soon as the next meal starts, we may eat. Yet as a standardized minhag, we wait various hours. If your minhag is six hours, then that minhag would have developed based on the Rambam or Rashi.

(The Rif understands 'from one meal to the next' as the accepted convention of one meal to the next. If six hours were that division, perhaps that could be from start to start. I'd have to see it inside.)

  • I had the same thought about the rif. No one explicit yet...
    – Double AA
    Jan 5, 2012 at 0:58
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    “Most poskim contend that one counts the six hours from when he finishes the fleishig food until he starts eating the milchig food and this is the accepted practice. However, according to one opinion (Aruch HaShulchan 89:4), there must be six hours from the end of the fleishig meal until the beginning of the milchig one.” (Badei HaShulchan 89:7, based on Dagul Mervavah) Jan 5, 2012 at 0:58
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    @simchashatorah post that as an answer, not a comment :)
    – Double AA
    Jan 5, 2012 at 0:59
  • @simchashatorah please convert your comment into an answer Jan 5, 2012 at 1:13
  • Though others say it explicitly, I am not sure you need it to be explicit. Besides being the standard custom we all know and practice, it is what makes sense based on the cause of the practice. Jan 5, 2012 at 5:03

i agree with josh with the addition of pointing out the first part of mar ukvahs statement that mentions a time = time and meals are not the same thing different meals is a halchic requirement by a overwhelming majority of opinions and 6 hrs is a minhag (some hold of w8ing 30 mins between milk and meat and i heard that some even wait 3 hrs from meat to milk - unconfirmed )

so i dont see the logic in w8ing 6 hrs from end of meal although w8ing 6hrs in order to start may be a extra precaution (that said 6 hrs from end may be precaution because its easier to remember when you finished a meal then when you finished eating meat, source = ever been to a shabbos meal? )

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