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The main textual source for the minhag of waiting three hours between eating meat and eating milk is Rabeinu Yerucham. However, it appears to many that the "ג" in there is actually a typo and it should be a "ו" as it does not match what he wrote in his other works, nor does it match his cited source (Rashi) for that waiting time.

Given this, my question is - excluding Rb. Yerucham, what is the earliest source that mentions a three hour time period?

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The Mizmor LeDavid (Yoreh Deah 89:6) mentions a 3 hour wait. Its author, Rav David Pardo, lived from 1718-1790.

The Chayey Adam (127:10), first published in 1810, mentions a few hour wait. (Although he doesn't say exactly 3, his language would only be understood in halachah as describing 3-4 hours. He uses a plural that does not refer to a minimum of two. He also meant it as avoiding the stricter 5-6. So, he must have been referring to some custom of 3-4 hours.)

  • @DavidKenner How did you claim the Chayei Adam is the earliest source when you had already cited the Mizmor LeDavid? The Chayei Adam was published 1810 TTBOMK – Double AA Oct 28 '16 at 3:55
  • I thought they were at the same approx. time. I don't think the MLD says exactly 3, but says "close to 3" comparing it to "close to 4". The CH'AD says "a few" which means the same thing. I have no way of knowing which of these contemporary Rabanim actually penned the idea first; regardless of a close publishing date? – David Kenner Oct 28 '16 at 4:20
  • I therefore thought the details of what the MLD and CH'AD said were helpful to the answer. I added him now copying your simpler style :) – David Kenner Oct 28 '16 at 4:21
  • If I had known the exact MLD date, I may have realized to say MLD or just both. TY – David Kenner Oct 28 '16 at 4:27
  • I don't know when MLD was written, but I'd love it if someone would find out. – Double AA Oct 28 '16 at 4:31

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