Someone told me that there is a Minhag (by some) not to eat dairy the entire Pesach. I was wondering what the reason is?

  • Interestingly, I've noticed that Lubvaticher chasidim tend to follow this minhag, and yet their last Rebbe did not (and was known to eat dairy on Pesach), as reported to me by an elder chassid of both the last two Lubavitcher rebbeim.
    – Curiouser
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 18:29
  • 1
    The Rebbe Rashab is also known to have drunk milk during Pesach (hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=30483&pgnum=61). Actually, in the long discussion in Otzar Minhagei Chabad of Pesach chumros kept by Lubavitcher chassidim (hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=30483&pgnum=57 ff), there is no mention of any custom not to eat dairy. My own family doesn't, but that's because of practical considerations of kitchen and refrigerator space, not because of minhag.
    – Alex
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 4:16
  • There is no chabad minhag to not eat dairy on pesach. One would buy things like milk before pesach. There is a practical reason for not eating dairy though. It is only a week long and makes preparations much more complicated and expensive to have another set of dishes for dairy. Plus if you don't eat gebrukts then there are even less actual dairy options besides putting milk in your coffee
    – Dude
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 23:10

4 Answers 4


I have heard that there are those that do not purchase dairy on Chol Hamoed for the reasons mentioned below. I have never heard of people that do not eat any dairy at all over Pesach, however maybe there are some that do not.

Technically speaking, there is no concern with Chometz when it comes to milk. Cows eat grain, which becomes Chometz with prolonged contact with liquid. The custom to purchase dairy products before Pesach is rooted in the fear that a Chometz particle may be present in the milk.

How does it help if you purchased your milk before Pesach? The answer is Bittul. A particle of grain would be indiscernible and also would constitute less than one-sixtieth of the milk. Therefore the grain is nullified in the milk. However, nullification applies only before Pesach begins. On Pesach we do not apply the rule of Bittul. Therefore, if the milk was in the possession of the Jew before noon on erev Pesach, any possible Chometz in the milk is nullified; hence the custom to purchase milk before the holiday.

  • 1
    Is possession necessary, if the chametz was mixed into the milk before noon erev Pesach?
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 20:12
  • @msh210, you still have to make sure it got nullified. It seems reasonable that you could buy milk later from a Jew who nullified his chametz, but if you don't know that and bittul doesn't apply during Pesach, aren't you bringing a tiny quantity of chametz into your home when you buy the milk? Commented Jun 12, 2011 at 17:00
  • @MonicaCellio, Nullified in this case I think means as a minute amount in a large amount.
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 12, 2011 at 18:14
  • Grain can only become "Chometz" when it is mixed in water. Fruit juice, wine, and milk can not make Chametz. Sefer HaMinhagim Chabad mentions that the Rebbe Rashab was not particular about wine on the table with matzah because his wine was not watered down. Most wines are watered down today so it is best to be careful of this if you do not eat gebracts. FDA regulations on milk make it almost impossible for anything to enter into the milk. Its not an open bucket. Its a tube hooked on to each utter that sends the milk to a storage container. No issue.
    – user1292
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 15:08

I heard that the reason for the custom was that one is not allowed to drink milk that was milked over pesach. Before refrigeration, that leaves only the first two days one can drink milk. Given that one should meat on Yom Tov, that doesn't leave much time to drink milk. Moreover, to buy new dishes for two days(like mentioned in an answer by JXG) was expensive (they had no disposable dishes). Therefore, people didn't drink milk.

By Pesach, the custom is to be extra stringent in Minhagim, and to avoid anything one's ancestors didn't eat, even if the reason why they did not eat it doesn't apply anymore (For example, Gebroks, Kitnyos, etc.)

  • "one is not allowed to drink milk that was milked over pesach" - why not?
    – yydl
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 20:29
  • 1
    But gershon never said not allowed. Just we are afraid. To say not allowed requires a source...
    – yydl
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 20:45

I know of families whose practice in Poland was not to cook dairy on Pesach, because they couldn't afford the extra set of dishes. They drank milk, though. Nowadays, I haven't heard of it.


In Iran, the milk in the city I'm from was all procured by non-jews. So unless you bought a whole cow for pesah, you wouldn't have dairy because there was no means of verifying if there was hametz in the milk.

  • How were you able to drink milk year round then if the milk wasn't Chalav Yisrael? How do you know there was no non-kosher milk mixed in.
    – user613
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 13:03
  • Trust, I guess. There's some trust in the US that milk isn't Halav Aqum. Actually a guy who lived close where my mother lived. Sometimes they would go to the guy's farm, the guy would milk the cow in front of them, and they'd pasteurize it at home. I guess they were extra strict on Pesah. But it boils down to trust. Not all the non-Jews hated us. The anti-semitism wasn't as bad as in Europe from what I hear
    – Sam Miller
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 14:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .