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Why must a Kosher home have two sets of dishes?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Mitzvot » Kosher | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The Torah1 prohibits cooking milk and meat together, or partaking of a dish which contains these two ingredients which were cooked together.2 

Obviously, the Torah is concerned that milk should not absorb the taste of meat or vice versa. At first glance one might think taste is only absorbed in and through foods. However, the Torah maintains that taste/food absorption applies to dishes as well3.

Thus once dishes have absorbed the flavor of either meat loaf or pizza (for example), that plate, pan, fork etc maintains a meat or dairy flavor. For this reason you must have two sets of dishes to ensure that you don't end up preparing/eating a meat dish on dairy dishes or vice versa.


  • 1. Exodus 23:19, 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21
  • 2. The rabbis imposed a prohibition on eating milk and meat together even if they were not cooked together. They also prohibited the consumption of milk together with fowl.
  • 3. See for example Leviticus 6:21 and Numbers 31:23.


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How did we go from not boiling a kid in its mother's milk to two sets of dishes?

Posted by: Alex on Mar 01, 2005

On the answer to "How did we go from not boiling a kid in its mother's milk to two sets of dishes?":

So, why two sets of dishes? What about the 1/60 rule? And where is it in the Shulhan Aruch?


Editor's Comment

1. A dish usually isn't 60 times the size of the food that was placed on it.

2. The 1/60 rule only applies after the fact. I.e. if the food item absorbed less than 1/60 of a non-kosher substance, it is still kosher. It is forbidden, however, to originally mix even a minute amount of a non-kosher substance into a kosher food. So using non-kosher dishes or crockery is the equivalent of intentionally allowing a non-kosher substance to be absorbed into your foods.

3. The laws of milk and meat dishes are mentioned over and over in the Shulchan Aruch. See for example Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah chapters 93,94,95.

milk and meat separation

Posted by: Davida, Lutz, FL on Apr 02, 2006

Abraham had his servant prepare a meal for the three visitors on the day that THE L-RD APPEARD TO HIM AT MAMRE.

Abraham took cream and milk and the calf, and place these before them, and they ate. There was no prohibition against this.

Editor's Comment

The laws of kosher only apply to Jews. Abraham was serving three people whom he thought were pagans (see Rashi Genesis 18:4). Furthermore, there could have been a breif waiting period between the dairy and the meat.

Milk and Meat

Posted by: Neriah Blumental on May 11, 2006

In response to the editor's note that said ,"Why shouldn't Abraham feed the Arab guests dairy and meat?" I was taught that we Jews are also not allowed to BENEFIT from the mixture of dairy and meat and should not even give it to non-Jews because we will benefit from this (Better relations with the recepient or perhaps a return gift from gratitude of the present) Could you please clarify this.

Editor's Comment

We may not benefit from meat and dairy which were actually cooked together -- that being the only form of mixture which is biblically prohibited. It does not say the Abraham cooked the milk and meat together. It only says he served them milk and meat.


Mitzvot » Kosher » Meat and Dairy

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.