This page, discussing nat bar nat (“Nosein Ta’am Bar Nosein Ta’am”--"that which gives taste is the son of that which gives taste"--a halachic concept addressing the transfer of taste from foods to utensils and the like), gives the following example:

If one would use a clean, ben yomo (used within the last twenty-four hours) meat pot to cook macaroni, and subsequently placed the macaroni on a plate and then mixed it with cheese – is that considered bassar b’chalav, the Biblically forbidden mixing of meat and milk?

The answer is no, it is 100% permissible to eat, for there was no direct contact between the meat and the cheese, only a weak secondary contact.

I had thought that the general rule was "If it's pareves cooked on meat equipment, you can't eat it with milk." Is that not correct? Why isn't the above example a contradiction of this?

  • 3
    @SAH Once it's mixed you can eat it lechatchila, but we don't mix it on purpose. That's basically the answer to your question.
    – Double AA
    Sep 18, 2016 at 20:40
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Double AA
    Sep 18, 2016 at 23:57

3 Answers 3


If it's pareves cooked on meat equipment, don't eat it with milk.

That's a broad rule of thumb many have adopted to avoid problems. But it's not nearly that simple. The Gemara says that dagim she'alu b'ke'ara -- pareves "handled fleishigs" -- can be eaten with milk. There are three ways to read that Gemara:

  1. The pareve was cooked pareve then put (hot) into a (ben yomo, clean) fleishigs bowl.
  2. The pareve was boiled in water in a (ben yomo, clean) fleishigs pot. [That's the macaroni case.]
  3. The pareve was grilled directly on a (ben yomo, clean) fleishig griddle.

Everyone allows the first case; many allow the second; and some allow the third.

  • Great answer, thanks. I wonder somewhat why this site calls their #2 example "100% permissible" when it is really a matter of debate.
    – SAH
    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:26
  • @SAH Would you be similarly perplexed by a Sefardi writing that eating rice on Pesach is 100% permissible? Just because there are debates doesn't mean people don't take sides.
    – Double AA
    Sep 19, 2016 at 18:54
  • In Torat Habayt Rashba seems to atribute the second case to Sefer Haterumot making a theoretical subdivision into Rivan Shita, but is there a posek who really take theopinion that 3rd case only is prohibited? I still not searched can you help me?
    – kouty
    Sep 20, 2016 at 2:50

Good question, which shows the need to learn the source of poskim Acharonim in Rishonim.

  1. Nat Bar Nat is allowed, according to Shmuel in Gemara (Chulin 111b), and the halacha is ruled as Shmuel.

  2. The prohibition treated in Nat Bar Nat is Bassar Vechalav, and things which aren't yet prohibited only, I mean by that, for instance, taste of meat, who is in itself permitted, or taste of milk, who is in itself permitted, or taste of Korban Shelamim who is still not notar. For taste of prohibited think, the presence of the taste is tested, no matter if it is directly or not from the first source of prohibition, e.g. taste of Kilae Hakerem.

  3. The prohibition Bassar Vechalav occurs when meat received taste from milk when milk too received taste from meat. A reciprocal event is required to see the meat and the milk as prohibited.

  4. In our case, the meat component is a taste inside the maccaroni, which itself is comming after a step in the pot's wall.

    (Meat --/giving taste/--> pot (taste of degree 1) --/giving taste/-> Maccaroni (taste of degree 2) -/giving taste/-> cheese (taste of degree 3)). This taste of degree 3 received into the cheese is not relevant.

  5. Since the milk component (our cheese) did not receive relevant taste of meat, no Halachic Mixture happened. (I remember this approximatively from Chidushe Haramban Chulin 111b). So the maccaroni is permitted because the cheese is permitted.

  6. But in your case cooking Maccaroni in the fleishig pot is different according to some Rishonim, because the original case of Nat Bar Nat in Gemara is not similar.

  7. Indeed, there is a debate between Rivan in name of his father in law Rashi in one side and Ramban and his followers in the other side.

  8. Rivan said that the whole taste can get out of the pot through boiling, it is not a case of Nat Bar Nat. When the maccaroni are cooked inside the pot, the taste remains of high degree as it was inside the wall of the pot.

  9. So, according to Rivan, our maccaroni cannot be eat with cheese.

  10. Summary of Rivan opinion. According to Rivan, a true cooking in the pot will give in the maccaroni all the taste present in the wall of the pot without changing degree from first to second degree, no nat bar nat in this case.

  11. Ramban and its school learned that Nat Bar Nat is equally true for each taste of meat (or milk) which go out from a pot.

  12. The answer of the Rav quoted in the OP is an "a posteriori psak" only and follows Rama (YD 95, 2) who ruled "as Rivan A Priori" and "as Ramban A posteriori".

  13. The custom you have heard is the a priori common custom for Ashkenazi people.

  • I made it clear al I can.
    – kouty
    Sep 19, 2016 at 6:50
  • Thanks so much for this answer, but why wouldn't the page I quoted be more clear that it was an "a posteriori psak" (instead of saying "[the mixture] is 100% permissible")?
    – SAH
    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:21
  • Here is a quote of the article: According to the Rema, however, only if one already mixed in the cheese would it be permissible to eat; if he had not yet done so, it would be forbidden to mix them together in order to eat the macaroni with cheese. @SAH This article (I see it now) is good.
    – kouty
    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:34
  • But the main key to understand is the Gemara with the Rivan and Ramban different interpretations. @SAH
    – kouty
    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:29

The first point to discuss is that the normative halakhic practice throughout most of Jewish history is that while there are varying levels of forbidden, there is only one level of permissible. In other words, once something is permitted, it's completely permitted, with no reservations. So a piece of food that was produced by a process bedi'eved is just as permitted as food prepared l'chatchilah. I'm not trying to say that you are allowed to do everything in a way that's only kasher bedi'eved, but attempting to highlight one should separate the process from the result. Once the result is permitted, it's equally as permitted despite the process that brought it into being, but when you do the process, you should attempt to do so in the most correct manner. This is why the page you quoted says " it is 100% permissible to eat" because once it's permissible, it's 100% permissible. Whether your Rav would suggest you go through the process to do this is another matter.

As for whether this mixture is prohibited, the standard halakhic baselines are as follows:

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 95:1-2) rules that if a pareve food was cooked in a totally clean dairy vessel, the food may be eaten with meat, and that if a pareve food was cooked in a totally clean meat vessel, the food may be eaten with dairy.

The Rema argues against this and rules that pareve food cooked in a dairy ben yomo vessel (i.e. a vessel used with hot dairy in the past 24 hours) may not be eaten with meat, and vice versa, but that b’dieved, if such foods were already mixed together, they may be eaten.

Thus, according to the Shulchan Aruch (and therefore Sephardic practice), pareve soup cooked in a totally clean dairy pot could be eaten with meat, whereas the Rema would prohibit Ashkenazim from doing this as a practice, but allows that if you find yourself in a situation where the foods were already mixed, they are permissible to be eaten.

Many Jews take extra chumrot or follow other Rabbinic opinions on this matter, which is where you get lines such as: "If it's pareves cooked on meat equipment, you can't eat it with milk.". Rather than rely on such a chumrah, it would benefit you to read the relevant texts for yourself, come to a decision about where you feel the truth is in this matter, and then consult your Rav for a final decision.

  • Very interesting answer. Would it be correct to say that the process that brings a permitted-b'dieved situation into being is forbidden, but the result is permitted? In this case, I can see how the source I quoted is very technically correct, although IMO it's irresponsible of them to slip such a chiddush into their so-called educational information.
    – SAH
    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:24
  • @SAH i wouldn't go the extra step to say that a bedi'eved process is prohibited, but if you have the ability to do it better, you can. So for example, i bake my own matzah in a tandoori oven. As a lone person with limited funds i cannot secure things such as the highest level of shmura flour, nor do i have the money for industrial grade ovens. i do the best that I can with what i have, which means my matzah is kasher b'dieved. Now, since i'm doing the best that i can within my means, it's not prohibited. But if i'm making matzah and taking shortcuts that i just decide to take due to lazyness,
    – Aaron
    Sep 19, 2016 at 18:04
  • @SAH or to make things easier, etc, then i would be prohibited from that process. Does that make sense? You should always strive to do the best according to the opinions, and that's lechatchila. Sometimes you can't do the best according to the opinions, but can do best according to the situation that's arisen or according to your means/abilities, that's permissible bedi'eved. And then there's making a decision to not due the best, and even if your end result might fall into a category of kasher b'dieved, you are prohibited from attempting to do it
    – Aaron
    Sep 19, 2016 at 18:08

You must log in to answer this question.

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