Kosher cheese needs to be made using kosher rennet which either comes from a kosher animal or is vegetarian. Using rennet from a kosher animal is not an issue of בשר בחלב b/c the rennet is from an enzyme that is so far removed from the original source that it is no longer considered food.

That being the case then why is it important for the rennet to be from a kosher animal at all?

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    "That being the case" Well, how do you know that's the case? Please edit to clarify. You have a major claim that you're basing your question on, and an obscure one at that.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 15:31
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    See ShA YD 87:11
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 15:33
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/a/11280/603 -- read about a davar hama'amad
    – Menachem
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 20:50
  • I understand what a davar hamaamad is. what I don't understand is: basar b'chalav specifically applies to kosher meat and kosher milk. If using rennet from a kosher animal isn't a problem of basar b'chalav b/c the rennet is not food then why does it need to come from a kosher animal at all?
    – Laser123
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 21:11
  • You ask a good question. See 'Responsa and Halakhic Studies' (53ff.) who discusses this issue at length, and particularly p. 67 quoting the eminent posek R. Yehuda Graubart who seems to have permitted indeed even from non-kosher animals.
    – Oliver
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


שולחן ערוך יורה דעה · פז · יא

אם העמיד גבינה בעור קיבת כשרה יש בה טעם בשר אסורה ואם לאו מותרת אבל המעמיד בעור קיבת נבילה וטריפה ובהמה טמאה אוסר בכל שהוא:

Cheese made with kosher rennet is asur with נותן טעם (1 in 60), However rennet from neveilah, treifah, or a non-kosher animal is asur בכל שהוא (any minimal amount)

Your question as to why the halacha is this way, would seem to be the difference between something that is asur only by נותן טעם (which can be made batel - since it is intrinsically mutar) and something that is intrinsically asur even if it has no טעם (because even a mashehu has a major effect). Thus, the rennet, even though it might "no longer be a food" is still an asur item that has an effect on what it has been mixed with. This is not like the case in which a piece of neveilah meat falls into the soup pot (less than 1/60 and batel).

Note that this case is one in which the isur is added deliberately and it has not fallen in by accident. Thus the inyan of bitul le'chatchilah also applies.

As an analogy consider the arguments about gelatin which differentiate between gelatin from a kosher slaughtered animal and gelatin from a non-kosher or neveilah animal.(but that is a different subject).

Another point is that even if the neveilah rennet would have been batel beshishim, chaza"l made it asur by the takkana of gevinas akum. Thus, it would be asur now by that takkana even if a jew used it. For example, see the specified method explained by Kosher Cheese

It is too long to put in here, but I think that it is relevant.

  • You don't explain why it's different. A piece of Nevela that falls into a pot or milk is Batel. So too a piece of meat into milk. A piece of meat rennet that falls into milk is batel, but why isn't nevela rennet? Both the meat rennet and the nevela rennet have a major effect on the food (ie. maamid).
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 17:44
  • @DoubleAA I also added that this is added deliberately and has not fallen in by accident as well as the takkana saying that a Jew may not add rennet from neveilah (even bemashehu) Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 11:48
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    "chaza"l made it asur by the takkana of gevinas akum" This is not true. Gevinas Akum is only about cheese made by non-Jews. It is not relevant to cheese made by Jews, as we can assume the case is here.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:30
  • The Shulchan Arukh you cite is about putting a piece of meat into milk. The OP is discussing just adding rennet, which he claims is so far removed so as not even to be considered food, let alone meat.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:32
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    Is it not dovor hamaamid?
    – hazoriz
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 4:49

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