Different Types of Meat and Milk

Q. The Torah (Shemos 23:19) writes that “You shall not cook a young goat in the milk of its mother.” In his commentary on the Torah, Rashi points out that this prohibition appears in the Torah three times, and the rabbis derive from this repetition three separate restrictions: cooking, eating, and deriving benefit. Which meats are included in these prohibitions?

A. In the Torah prohibition cited above, the reference is to cooking milk with a “gedi”. Generally speaking, gedi refers to a young goat, or kid, as in the poem of Chad gadya at the end of the Pesach seder. However, Chazal (Chulin 113b) maintain that the word gedi in the sentence above is used as a generic reference to domesticated kosher animals (i.e., goats, sheep, and cows). Thus, the prohibition applies to any combination of goat, sheep, or cow’s meat cooked with goat, sheep, or cow’s milk. However, the Torah does not forbid the meat of non-kosher animals (e.g., pork), wild animals (e.g., venison), or fowl with milk. Obviously, non-kosher meat cannot be eaten, regardless of whether it is cooked in milk, but it is not forbidden to cook it with milk or derive benefit from that combination. Although there is no Torah prohibition to eat chicken or venison with milk, eating such a combination is rabbinically prohibited. Furthermore, Shach (YD 87:7) writes that one may not even cook venison or chicken with milk because of “maris ayin” (giving the impression that a sin is being committed), as the onlooker may mistakenly think that the meat is from a domesticated animal. However, one may derive benefit from venison or chicken that was cooked with milk. After the cooking is completed, there is no maris ayin, as it is no longer obvious that the meat was cooked in milk.


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.