Chicken and Cheese

Do you know why Jewish law came to add fowl to the "no meat and milk" law? Fowl do not have mammary glands so do not produce milk – why were they added to mammalian meat restrictions with milk? Also, do you know if the boiling meat in milk was originally a pagan ritual?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The Talmud explains that when the Torah says "do not boil a kid in it's mother's milk," it is only referring to meat from the three kosher domesticated animals – cow, goat and sheep.

However, since people "intuitively" associate chicken as "meat," it became the law as well not to mix chicken and milk. This view was accepted by the entire Jewish people as binding law about 1,500 years ago. This is one of the many "fences around the Torah" which, as the name suggests, helps protect the Torah from being transgressed accidentally, and help people protect themselves from spiritual damage.

More Questions


Due to limited resources, the Ask the Rabbi service is intended for Jews of little background with nowhere else to turn. People with questions in Jewish law should consult their local rabbi. Note that this is not a homework service!

Ask the Aish Rabbi a Question

See More

Receive the Aish.com Daily Features Email

Sign up to our Daily Email Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy