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Rabbi Dovid Cohen
Administrative Rabbinical Coordinator of the cRc
Chazal forbade the creation and consumption of bread which is milchig, e.g. made of dough which includes milk, because they were concerned that someone might inadvertently eat it with meat; the same prohibition exists for fleishig bread.1 Thus, dairy bread is effectively “not kosher”2 and may not even be eaten alone, even though all its ingredients and the equipment it was made on were kosher. The reason bread was singled out for this prohibition is that it is a staple food which is usually pareve and is used with all sorts of foods. Therefore a person is likely to forget that their particular loaf of bread is milchig or fleishig.
The early Acharonim debate whether this prohibition is limited to bread or should possibly include other foods which are usually pareve and commonly used at both meat and dairy meals. Taz,3 Magen Avraham,4 and Yad Yehudah,5 hold that bread is merely an example but in truth the prohibition extends to all foods commonly eaten with both meat and milk, such as spices, wine and eggs. On the other hand, Chavas Da’as,6 Pri Chadash,7 and Minchas Yaakov8 cite proofs that Chazal limited their gezairah to bread and argue that it is inappropriate for us to extent gezairos into areas not covered by Chazal.
The common practice among kosher certifying agencies appears to be to follow the ruling of Chochmas Adam,9 Aruch HaShulchan,10 and Badei HaShulchan11 who accept the lenient position. For this reason, there are water,12 orange juice, tea, margarine, and liquid egg products which are certified as kosher dairy even though they are commonly used at fleishig meals.13
2 When Chazal forbade the consumption of dairy bread, did they structure it as a prohibition on the food or on the person? According to the former position, an oven used to bake dairy bread would have to be kashered before kosher/pareve bread is baked in it, and according to the latter kashering would not be required. This question is discussed in Shach 97:2, Pischei Teshuvah 97:2, Darchei Teshuvah 97:11, and elsewhere and is beyond the scope of the current discussion.
3 Taz 97:2. In order to reconcile this ruling with Shulchan Aruch 96:3, Taz suggests that if the person has a designated fleishig spice grinder there is no concern that the fleishig spices will be used for dairy, and they are therefore not forbidden. Would Taz grant the same leniency to one who bakes bread in an oven designated exclusively as fleishig? The fact that no one suggests such a leniency implies that such bread would be forbidden, which may indicate that in fact Taz agrees that non-bread foods are not treated as strictly as bread in regards to this halacha.
4 Magen Avraham 447:45, cites and agrees with Tzemach Tzedek 80 (a teshuvah which is widely cited in regard to this halacha in Shulchan Aruch) at least as relates to wine in which the dairy or chametz was not batel b’shishim. Minchas Yaakov 60:3 suggests that Tzemach Tzedek might only be machmir on wine since wine is meant to be consumed at meat-meals. However this is questionable, as Tzemach Tzedek also rules that the wine is forbidden because it contains chametz (and therefore raises a concern that someone might drink it on Pesach), and clearly wine is not meant to be consumed on Pesach.
5 Yad Yehudah 97:6 (Aruch).
6 Chavas Da’as 97:1 (Biurim)
7 Pri Chadash 97:1.
8 Minchas Yaakov 60:3.
9 Chochmas Adam 50:7.
10 Aruch HaShulchan 97:2.
11 Badei HaShulchan 97:1.
12 Such water is labeled as dairy (or DE) because it is pasteurized on equipment used for fluid milk. Although there are isolated cases where this occurs, as a rule bottled water is not pasteurized, and consumers can feel comfortable purchasing bottled water even if does not bear a kosher certification symbol.
13 There are also wines that contain kitnios (corn syrup) and are not certified for Pesach. These wines would appear to be acceptable even according to the strict opinion noted in the text, because the kitnios is likely batel b’rov in the wine.