Expect an explanatory halakhic discourse when I return from spending Shabbos in the fabled mile-high (but incredibly flat) city of Denver, Colorado.
Denver's a nice place... if you're a yeti
Or even if you're the Goblin King.
Have a good Shabbos!
Anybody seen Amishav
?Sorry I haven't updated this post since I got back... been preoccupied with the end of the year of mourning for my father. I hope to reveal the halakhic punchline some time this week.
Sorry it took so long to get back to this, I've been unusually busy and bombarded with RL
Anyway, here's the scoop, in the spirit of Purim Qatan and venahafokh hu’
(everything getting turned upside down)...
In the Babylonian Talmud, masekhet Hhulin
105a, Mar ‘Uqba
makes the following statement:
When it comes to this issue [waiting after meat before dairy], I am like vinegar made from wine compared to my father. If my father were to eat meat now, he wouldn't eat cheese until this time tomorrow; but me, it's just within this [meat] meal that I don't eat [cheese] — but I eat it at the next/other meal.
This is the basic source for waiting after eating meat before eating dairy, and there are two schools of interpretation and application:Rambam
, in Mishneh Torah, book of Qedusha
, Laws of Forbidden Foods 9:28, says:
One who ate meat first — whether that of a land-animal or a bird — may not eat milk afterwards, until there will have passed the amount of time for another meal, which is about six hours...The Tosafot
, commenting on Mar ‘Uqba's statement, say:
But I eat it at the next/other meal
Not [necessarily] at the next regular meal, one in the morning and one in the evening — even immediately, if one clears away the table and says the Blessing [After Eating], it is permissible...
So basically, there are two opinions — when Mar ‘Uqba says that he "waits until the next meal" before eating dairy after meat, R' Moshe ben Maimon claims that this is a quantitative measurement of time
between the morning meal and the evening meal, “about six hours”. The Ba‘aley Hatosafot, on the other hand, explicitly reject that view, claiming that "until the next meal" means exactly that — until the next meal, whenever that occurs
Now things get a little tricky.R' Moshe Isserles
, in his mapa
("tablecloth") to R' Yoseif Karo's Shulhhan ‘Arukh
("set table"), testifies that the common custom
in his part of the world, i.e. Ashkenaz, particularly Poland, is to wait one hour. In his more detailed Darkhey Moshe
, though, he quotes the Hagahot Sha‘arey Dura
Many people are accustomed to act more leniently [than the Rambam's requirement], and make a compromise of their own invention, waiting one hour after a meat meal. They clear off, bentsh, and then they eat cheese even though we have found no reason or hint for this time limit [in any authoritative work]... Anyway, who could stop them, since after all the Tosafot and the Ra’avya (R' Eli‘ezer ben Yo’eil Haleivi) allow [to not wait at all]!
Now, what about waiting 3 hours?
The source of this custom is unclear, but it very likely may be a further development of a compromise between the Tosafistic and Maimonidean lines of reasoning — waiting the length of time from one meal to the next, but not necessarily between the big morning meal and the big evening meal; just from lunch to afternoon tea, for instance, according to the culture of various Ashkenazic countries.
So let's add it all up.
Why do I claim that waiting 3 hours makes me crazy frum, frummer than almost everyone else?
There are two opinions: Rambam and Tosafot.
If you wait 5, 5h1m, 5½, or 6 hours, you're holding like the Rambam.
If you wait 3 or 4 hours, on the other hand, you're basically holding by Tosafot. But Tosafot don't care if you wait at all, just that you clean out your mouth and your eating area and start a new meal! So you're holding by Tosafot... and then being mahhmir
and following the baseless stringency of the common folk of Ashkenaz to not just clean up and clear off, but to wait as well. And not only are you waiting (at all, for no reason!) — you're waiting until the amount of time passes for the next naturally occurring meal
instead of artificially jumping the cultural gun and starting a new halakhic meal before it's actually time to eat. Waiting 3 or 4 hours is holding like Tosafot plus two levels of hhumra
— that's much
frummer than simply holding like the Rambam!
The halakhic analysis in this post is serious;
the tone of discussion is meant for entertainment only.