I recently stumbled upon a page that said this:

Eating Dairy Products on Shavuot

Many families have a custom to eat dairy products on Shavuot. As noted above, Darkei Teshuva questions this minhag based on the obligation to eat meat on Yom Tov. Darkei Teshuva's assertion is based on a number of assumptions. First, nowadays one can only fulfill the mitzvah of simchat Yom Tov by eating meat. Second, the mitzvah to eat meat is obligatory. Third, the mitzvah of simchat Yom Tov applies to every Yom Tov meal. Fourth, there is an obligation to eat meat on the first night of Yom Tov, and therefore, eating dairy products the first night is not an option. Those who eat dairy products on Shavuot reject one (or more) of his four assumptions.

I had never heard that milchigs were forbidden on any Yom Tov, let alone Shavuos.

  • Has anyone else ever heard of these minhagim?
  • How common are they? Which groups observe them?
  • How severe is the prohibition considered -- or is it more of a coincidence? (That is, for example, if one were allowed to eat before kiddush, would it be OK to have some milchigs for breakfast?) Is the prohibition against eating milchigs per se -- or against, as it were, not eating meat?
  • Do the same people consider milchigs an assur for Shabbos, too?

Related: Waiting Less Time on Shavuos

I recently talked to someone who accepts all four assumptions in the quote in the question, and eats both dairy and meat at every meal of Shavuos. He does so by eating dairy first, making a break in the meal (=eating pareve courses and possibly washing his mouth), and then eating meat.

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    The article you point to suggests that certain assumptions are not universally held, i.e. that one must eat meat and drink wine at every Yom Tov meal.
    – CashCow
    Feb 16, 2015 at 11:09
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    Here's an anti-answer: "eating dairy products the first night is not an option". Really? We eat meat & drink wine to make up for the Korban Chagiga/Simcha that we can no longer bring. But they were only brought on the first day הַחֲגִיגָה הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה הִיא שֶׁיַּקְרִיב שְׁלָמִים בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל חַג בְּבוֹאוֹ לְהֵרָאוֹת as the Rambam says. So what did they eat on the first night? In Chagiga we learned that there is no Mitzva of meat-simcha on the first night. (And if Yom Tov began on Shabbat then there was no meat-simcha until the second day.) Feb 16, 2015 at 13:36
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    What about 5: you can't eat dairy and meat in the same meal? The gemara certainly didn't have that custom.
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2015 at 15:14
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    Many people I know accept all four assumptions and still manage to eat Dairy on Shavuos. I think that post is speaking a bit over-categorically. It is also speaking about a custom to eat dairy for every meal of Shavuos, which is less common. But in any event, they aren't really defining some issue with eating diary per-se, just as a coincidence, that it gets in the way of other issues.
    – Yishai
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:21
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    @DoubleAA Actually, the Darkei T'shuva mentions your #5 explicitly, saying, "since the Zohar prohibits eating meat after dairy in the same meal, it is preferable to avoid the custom" of eating dairy at the Shavu'os meal.
    – Fred
    Feb 16, 2015 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


The Torah mandates "simcha" on Yom Tov. The Talmud understands "simcha" to refer to eating meat and wine. Hence, the obligation to eat meat on Yom Tov.

The exact parameters of this obligation are subject to much debate among the Poskim. The fours assumptions you quote are held by some Rabbis and rejected by others. As always, ask your LOR.

The obligation concerns the need to eat meat. Once one is required to eat meat, one may not eat dairy, since one may not eat dairy after eating meet. There is no actual prohibition to eat Milchigs on Yom Tov, only an incidental one caused by the consumption of meat. If you would like to eat dairy for breakfast, at a kiddish, or 6 hours after you finish your morning meal, that would be permitted according to the accepted opinions.

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    This doesn't answer the question afaict
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:54
  • @DoubleAA It provides the reasoning and background to answer this question: "How severe is the prohibition considered -- or is it more of a "coincidence"? (That is, for example, if one were allowed to eat before kiddush, would it be OK to have some milchigs for breakfast?)"
    – LN6595
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:59
  • But the question was not about commonly held opinions!!! This is all irrelevant.
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2015 at 17:11
  • @DoubleAA The questioner misinterpreted the Darkei Teshuva. I explained what the Darkei Teshuva is saying. The questioner was not looking for obscure sources but for whole "groups that observe" these practices.
    – LN6595
    Feb 17, 2015 at 2:49
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    @SAH If you think this doesn't answer the question then why did you accept it??
    – Double AA
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:22

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