What is the history behind not eating dairy when eating meat?
One essential aspect of keeping kosher is the prohibition against mixing milk and meat. Milk represents birth and life sustenance. Meat stands for flesh and death. Mixing them shows an insensitivity to life. The Torah tells us this in basic terms three times (Exodus 23:19 and 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21) with the phrase: "Do not boil a kid in its mother's milk." Using these three citations, the rabbis, in later discussions, deduce three meanings for the prohibition on mixing milk and meat. Cooking - Eating - Benefiting a.. Cooking is understood to refer not only to the combining of meat and dairy foods, but also to a requirement for separate cookware and utensils to prevent the mixing of milk and meat. a.. Eating includes the obvious, like cheeseburgers (which are, of course, prohibited), as well as waiting between eating meat and eating dairy so that the food is digested first. Current opinions on how long one must wait after eating meat and before eating milk vary, ranging from the Dutch practice of waiting for one hour to an Eastern European custom of waiting six hours. If your family has not passed down a custom, you may choose to adopt the prevailing custom in the Conservative Movement (and others) by waiting for three hours-After eating most dairy products and before eating meat or fowl, some people wait half an hour, while others simply rinse their mouths. a.. Benefiting means that a Jew should not prepare or provide or sell milk/meat mixtures (or any non-kosher foods) to anyone else, even if not technically doing the cooking. Hope this helps.
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