I was listening to a history class on the Chazon Ish, and it discussed his strong opinion that it is forbidden to milk cows in a beneficial way on Shabbos. Either it has to be done through a non-Jew, or the milk has to be disposed of.

In the class, it was mentioned that he publicized his opinion to oppose that of Rabbis associated with the Mizrachi movement, who allowed Jews milking cows on Shabbos, and benefitting from their milk. I was just wondering where can one can find their opinions in print, and some of their reasons for allowing it. I understand there's a concern for the pain that the cows are going through, but why would that permit benefitting from the milk, which was extracted through melacha?

  • 1
    Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn has a discussion on this in his book מלכי בקדש חלק ה-ו. The only heter he finds for benefitting from the milk is if the animal is milked כלאחר יד in which the milk can be used as a food-product but not as a beverage, and only from Motzei Shabbat and onward. At the end he brings a letter he wrote to someone from Bnei Brak (then a small moshava) on the matter and notes that since this is a case of משקה הבא לאוכל and משקה הבא לאיבוד, it's not a melacha.
    – Harel13
    Jul 9 at 20:36
  • I think one of the elements involved was putting cheese into the pail first, so it's like squeezing lemon onto fish... or was that a different heter?
    – Shalom
    Jul 10 at 1:52
  • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 87:9 - milking cows is permitted by a non-Jew because of a concern for the pain that the cows are going through. The milk is muktza on Shabbat and the Goy should place it in a safe location. (Fridge?) The Mishna Berura suggests the goy milk into food. Neither discuss a Jew milking on Shabbat. Jul 10 at 9:13
  • @DannySchoemann okay but that's not helping here :-)
    – robev
    Jul 10 at 10:31
  • There are discussions of cows hooked up to automated pumps and having a jew open a valve to thereby change the flow of milk from ibbud to refrigerator. Maybe that's what he didn't like?
    – Double AA
    Jul 14 at 19:54


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