There is a widespread custom to wait 30 min between (soft) cheese and meat. What is the origin and source of this custom?

  • You know this is wide spread how? The basic halacha only requires rinsing one's mouth from dairy to meat. The zohar speaks of a longer time not 30 minutes but an hour
    – Dude
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 13:31
  • Can you source that this custom exists? And that it's widespread?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 13:41
  • The Zohar,I believe it's brought in the Taz,the actual custom is 1 hour
    – sam
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 15:09
  • I have only seen this by hard cheeses oukosher.org/blog/consumer-kosher/… Commented May 26, 2016 at 15:20
  • 1
    @mevaqesh So in the last 30 years we see a somewhat known personal custom being enshrined as a Takkana Derabanan. Is that really indicative of a meaningful Halakhic change or just a modern tendency towards oversimplification, monolithicity and stringency?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


This article from OU gives the source as follows:

Must one wait after a dairy meal before eating meat?

After eating dairy, one can eat meat so long as he does the following: 1. cleanses his mouth, 2. rinses his mouth, and 3. washes his hands. Some also have the practice of reciting the necessary berachot after the dairy meal, waiting, and then reciting new berachot for the meat meal. The need and permissibility of reciting berachot in this case is a subject of halachic controversy. One may clean his mouth by eating or drinking something pareve. Any solid pareve food other than dates, raw flour and greens can be used. Steps 1-3 may be done in any order. One must wash his hands and clean his mouth even if he feels that they are clean. An exception for washing one’s hands is made for one who used utensils and had absolutely no physical contact with the food.

If the meal to follow consists of poultry and not beef, there is no need for one to cleanse his mouth or wash his hands. (This is because mixing poultry with dairy is only rabbinically prohibited.) Although there is no halachic requirement to wait after eating dairy before eating meat, some wait an hour or half an hour, based on a statement found in the Zohar. (The Zohar’s exact wording can be found in the commentary of the Vilna Gaon on Yoreh Deah 89:1. {The link is to Yoreh Deah but not to the Vilna Gaon and the halocho is in 89:2}. In all cases, one must be sure to use a new tablecloth or eating surface and to use new utensils.

The links for the sources printed in the Shulchan aruch

The gra (vilna gaon) is probably 89.6 (and in 89.11 he explains that it goes both ways)
the shach brings the same Zohar 89.16


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