Kosher Garbage Cans

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Is there a need for separate meat and dairy garbage cans? It’s not as crazy as you might think.

I. Cooking

The Torah states three times that one may not cook milk and meat together. The Talmud (Chullin 115b) understands this to mean that there are three things that are forbidden: 1) cooking meat and milk together, 2) eating meat and milk that have been cooked together, and 3) deriving and form of benefit from a cooked mixture of milk and meat.

If you cannot even cook milk and meat together, then pouring a hot dairy food into a garbage can that contains meat scraps would be forbidden cooking. Granted, it isn’t too often that you throw hot food into the garbage. But it can happen — say, if you overcooked some food and want to throw it out.

The simple answer is not to throw out food that is particularly hot. I wouldn’t do it anyway because I’d be concerned it would melt the plastic bag. If you are careful about that then you will be able to have a single garbage can for both dairy and meat. But there is another reason not to require separate garbage cans.

II. Preparative Cooking

The Kessef Mishneh (Hilkhos Tumas Meis 1:2) writes that the reason the Torah states the three prohibitions in the language of eating is to teach that only cooking which is a preparation for eating is forbidden. Other forms of cooking milk and meat, such as if they are cooked together in the process of throwing them out, are not encompassed in this prohibition.

Others have pointed out that this can be inferred from the words of the Rambam (Hilkhos Ma’akhalos Assuros 9:2; cf. Glosses of R. Akiva Eiger, ad loc.). This ruling is affirmed by others, although some disagree. For example, R. Yosef Engel (Lekach Tov 8:3) considers cooking meat and milk to be a biblical safeguard, a prohibition intended to prevent eating such a mixture. R. Daniel Z. Feldman (Binah Ba-Sefarim, vol. 1 pp. 205-206) quotes other authorities who agree and disagree with this position.

III. Scientific Experiment

R. Ahron Soloveichik (cited in R. Hershel Schachter, Mi-Peninei Ha-Rav, pp. 195-196) told the following story about his father, R. Moshe Soloveichik. R. Moshe was asked by a student whether he can perform a chemical experiment that involves cooking dairy and meat together. He responded that the experiment is permissible, based on the above Kessef Mishneh, because the cooking is not a preparation for eating.

If we follow this Kessef Mishneh in practice, then we do not need separate garbage cans for dairy and meat. Even if hot dairy and meat mix in the garbage and are incidentally cooked, this kind of cooking is permitted.

As always, check with your rabbi on issues of practical halakhah.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

One comment

  1. zach 04/12/2010 10:59 PM
    2 people liked this.
    “It’s not as crazy as you might think.” Yes it is. That you are even raising this as za question shows how overboard we have gone with the whole halachic process.
    Eskimo 04/12/2010 11:05 PM
    1 person liked this.
    I agree with it being crazy. It isn’t derech bishul. And besides, has anyone who has grown up in a frum house ever seen this done? If the answer is no, as I suspect, then I would call it crazy.
    Yossi 04/13/2010 12:15 AM
    2 people liked this.
    “As always, check with your rabbi on issues of practical halakhah” — There is NO REASON to check with any rabbi as this is not practical halacha. The Rav would throw you out of shiur, literally throw you out for talking the way you do in this post, and speaking about this matter as if it is serious. This is a really embarrassig post and it’s an insult to halacha.

    On the other hand, if you had spoken about pouring hot chicken soup down a drain that had milk products in it, then maybe there would be a hava amina, but to speak about a garbage can is, how can I say this, garbage.
    STBO 04/13/2010 12:23 AM
    I don’t understand the animosity against the discussion itself. There are many discussions in the Gemara that have almost or actually zero ‘practical’ application — but they are pursued because they reflect combinations of variables that can occur in real life, and because examinations of such outlier phenomena in fact cast light on the foundations underlying the practical halacha.

    In this post alone we discover that a majority of halachic authorities maintain that the prohibition on ‘cooking’ or co-heating of meat and dairy products is only applicable upon such mixtures intended for consumption — a fact that lets us view the Torah’s mitzvah with additional context that is not obvious ab initio.
    Skeptic 04/13/2010 12:46 AM in reply to STBO
    The animosity is about the implication that this IS a practical issue, when it certainly is not.
    Nachum 04/13/2010 01:56 AM
    My sister once worked in a camp kitchen where they separated the trash. Doesn’t make it any less crazy, of course.
    G Pickholz 04/13/2010 02:23 AM
    1 person liked this.
    The most alarming aspect of the posting by Student is its representation of Affluenza within the MO Rabbinate. Rav Henkin would never address this sort of topic because of its implied assumption of wealth, and the dangers inherent in that derech. MO was founded as the derech of extreme and sudden upward economic mobility and affluence unimagined by its constituents grandparents in Europe or the Lower East Side tenements. As with Yeshiva tuition, it continues to fail completely in addressing the likely permanent (and possibly dramatic) reduction of economic wellbeing of the present and future generation. That downward mobility remains the ultimate halachic taboo. This issue would have been thrown out by the Rav or Henkin or Reb Moshe for reasons no one with a home in Great Neck, Englewood or Beverly Hills could ever comprehend, but was well understood by the Poskim for 3,000 years — excluding only the immediate past 30 years.
    joelrich 04/13/2010 05:29 AM in reply to G Pickholz
    1 person liked this.
    you mean like the assumption that 2 sinks and 2 ovens (oops i meant 6-let’s not forget parve and pesach) is a basic kashrut requirement for kosher living?
    Shlomo 04/13/2010 05:50 AM in reply to G Pickholz
    Try making aliyah. The absence of “affluenza” here is one of the best things about living here.
    Dov 04/13/2010 06:14 AM
    I think everyone protesteth too much. I know at least one non-chareidi family in Israel that is makpid on this. And 15 years ago there was discussions of this in a kollel in the states.

    Also, anyone complaining about “affluenza” should be petitioning the OU to stop certifying all candy and snack foods, not to mention all prepared foods, since all of the above were not in use by pashut Jews 100 years ago. But in reality halacha has to keep up with what happens in society, regardless of whether changes in society are a sign of affluence.

    That said, I think that there are a lot of reasons not to worry about this: derech bishul asra Torah, irui, nosen tam lifgam,and tata’ah gavar lo mi’ikar ha’din. To make it a real concern there would need to be a solid piece of beef (not poultry) that’s still hot in the garbage, and a still-boiling dairy liquid poured in hotter than yad solodes bo landing straight on the meat.
    Fred 04/13/2010 06:40 AM in reply to Dov
    Dov, you’re just as bad as Gil. You don’t need to list “reasons” why this is not a concern. How about the fact that no posek who has ever lived wrote about this. It is not in the Shulchan Aruch or the Teshuvot literature and no frum family in history every did this (and don’t tell me about some crazy person that you know) There is something called a mesorah, and even raising a question like this says that mesorah is meaningless and what frum Jews did for 2000 years is irrelevant. I call this attitude Reform Judaism, and it is Reform even if the person advocating it wears a black hat.
    Fred 04/13/2010 06:50 AM
    The problem with the post is precisely that it takes the question seriously. The post should have been written to explain why we don’t need 2 garbage cans. That is, to start with the FACT that we don’t need them, and then explain why, instead of starting off by saying that it’s a serious issue, because it is not, it really is a crazy idea, but it would be nice to explain why it is a crazy idea.
    guest 04/13/2010 07:02 AM in reply to G Pickholz
    huh? how expensive are garbage cans? i’m sorry, i really don’t mean to be rude, but i don’t understand this comment.
    guest 04/13/2010 07:03 AM
    r gil, i for one enjoyed the post.
    Joseph Kaplan 04/13/2010 07:07 AM
    Another problem is that we are living in a time of chumrah. Who would have thought, 30 years ago, to have separate buses, and separate sidewalks (?!?), for men and women? Now, these ideas are taken seriously by some. Therefore, Flag got it right; it would have been much better had the context of this post, its tone, been it’s NOT serious because . . . ; or, no one ever did it, no halachic texts ever discussed it and no one ever should think of doing it because . . . .
    Joseph Kaplan 04/13/2010 07:11 AM in reply to Joseph Kaplan
    Read “Fred” for “Flag.”
    gpickholz 04/13/2010 08:22 AM
    Garbage cans are exceedingly expensive, as is trash.. Your calculation of cheapness presumes private home ownership. If one resides in an apartment, and particularly public owned housing of the government or municipality, then a second garbage can is not even legal. You have now intimated these people are less makpid in their kashrut than you with your six sinks and double kitchen homes. If you live in Zurich, and each bag of garbage costs nearly $5 to throw out by law rather than free in New Jersey (not for very long in America anymore either) then it becomes a real issue of wealth. The Chofetz Chayim did not have two sinks. Fact. You would not eat in his home. The Chozeh of Lublin did not have two sinks,and certainly did not separate his garbage. You would not eat in his home. Rebbetzin Feinstein never, to her dying day, had a second sink on Grand Street. You would not permit your child to eat in Rebbetzin Feinstein’s home? The Grand Street Coop would not have permitted the second garbage can. Rav Henkin did not have a second sink, and could not have maintained two sets of garbage cans. You would not eat in his home? Reb Moshe Feinstein’s daughter only put in a second sink after 20 years of marriage during a half million dollar renovation in Affluenza Monsey. You would not eat in her home?

    You continue to distort halacha and religious observance into the sole domain of the affluent, and deem all others as less makpid. Exceedingly dangerous territory indeed.
    Dov 04/13/2010 08:38 AM
    Fred, the Shulchan Aruch or Teshuvot literature also didn’t discuss milk with government supervision, but Rav Moshe did because changes in society made it relevent. They didn’t discuss hechsherim because 200 years ago there were no hechsherim on products because there were no store products beyond raw ingredients, but now with factories and mass production we need Rabbinical supervision. They didn’t discuss taking clothes from a store to a shatnez lab because 100 years ago we didn’t need shatnez labs because clothes were made locally with basic fabric without filler material and blends and the like.

    You can try to claim that chadash assur min haTorah but in reality society changes and the things that are found in society change constantly, and it’s not anti-mesorah to say that all changes in society need to be related to by halacha.
    Joseph Kaplan 04/13/2010 08:58 AM in reply to Dov
    What has changed WRT garbage that it has suddenly become relevant?
    ruvie 04/13/2010 08:59 AM in reply to Dov
    dov, your analogy is on the side of silliness. the non- charedi family you mentioned must be talmdei chachamin who dot very i and cross every t in the observance of mitzvot (or just am haretzim).

    i guess the changes in society in throwing food into garbage has change drastically in the last 1000 years – so we need to address this issue?

    thank you to this thread for a good laugh and chuckle this am. it has made my day.
    hirhurim 04/13/2010 09:04 AM
    G Pickholz: Your concern might be valid if the conclusion was that you need two garbage cans. Although really you can just put garbage in a bag without a can, or have two separate bags in one can. There are creative solutions if there was a need, which there isn’t.

    Personally, I am obligated by law to separate my trash into three different receptacles. I don’t know that a fourth would be such a burden.

    For what it’s worth, my kitchen has one sink, one oven, one stove top and one (broken) dishwasher. I’ve never heard of anyone saying that this is improper.

    Joseph Kaplan: Your question about what has changed is valid. One answer to the question is simply that since Jews haven’t traditionally separated the trash, there is no need to. That’s fine, but it begs for textual justification.
    Smiley 04/13/2010 09:12 AM
    I hope the sociologists are reading.
    ER 04/13/2010 09:42 AM
    Even if there was the possibility of cooking meat and milk in a garbage can, why wouldn’t it be mutar as a davar she’aino miskavein?
    Ezra 04/13/2010 09:58 AM
    I like it when you post things that show what a fringe thinker you are, that way, when you propose more levelheaded, but still incorrect, things, people basically know not to take what you say seriously.
    Jack 04/13/2010 09:59 AM
    When I was in semicha two decades ago, a rav discussed that dropping meat and milk down the incinerator chute * might * be problematic. It wasn’t a definitive statement, just kind of a thinking out loud, talking the matter through kind of thing. The point is that this HAS been thought of before, it’s not a modern “disease.”

    And I think it’s a valid question. The only question I ever had dismissed out of hand was whether someone could be yotzei the mitzvah of Succah if the schach is on fire.
    jadedtopaz 04/13/2010 10:16 AM
    1 person liked this.
    I think that in order to understand the laws that govern mixing/cooking meat and milk together in waste receptacles one has to first learn the laws that govern the process of throwing food away.
    There are deer squirrels chipmunks rabbits and raccoons that are going hungry in the woods and trails all around us, and have to resort to sneaking around in the night, prying open separate but equal cans of garbage sifting around for food.
    And for animals that keep kosher think of how upsetting it must be for them to find a good piece of meat ensconced in a rum and coke milkshake.
    How are they supposed to know whether it was hot at the time they first met in the can.
    shimon 04/13/2010 10:17 AM
    3 people liked this.
    Let me get this straight. Here we have a mitzva deoraisa, and from the pshat of the pasuk as well as from the pirush of Chaza”l it would seem that we have here a serious question.

    Yet most of the readers think it’s crazy and stupid, not because of what they have learned but because how they FEEL. And as “prooof” they bring some pseudo-historical arguments. I know, this is very prevalent in Chassidish, Yeshivish and MO circles. It is the way of downplaying and insulting all other relevant opinions (under the veil of internet anonymity) that still surprises me (not in general, but on this blog).
    shimon 04/13/2010 10:29 AM
    BTW ROY addressed this very question in Yalkut Yosef on Yoreh Deah many years ago. See there for sources.
    thanbo 04/13/2010 10:33 AM
    1 person liked this.
    Topaz: know any Jewish freegans (dumpster diving for food as a lifestyle choice)?

    Now that would make this a serious issue.
    lawrence kaplan 04/13/2010 10:50 AM
    I think that the main problem is Gil’s last sentence. “As always, check with your rabbi on issues of practical halakhah.” Is Gil actually suggesting that a reader of this post now ask their LOR whether he or she needs separate garbage bags? The discussion is theoretically interesting, but Gil should have made it more clear that it is in the category of “derosh ve-kabel sechar.”
    Mark 04/13/2010 11:01 AM
    Do you need two separate drain systems from the sinks in your kitchen? Sometimes you drain hot things into the sink that contain dairy or meat items. They will combine in the P-trap below the sink, and will further combine in the pipes leading to the main sewer pipe outside your house under the street.

    Do you need separate meat and dairy garbage disposers under your sink (I actually do have two separate disposers under my dairy sink and under my meat sink!)?

    And in homes with septic tanks, in which your waste remains on your property and never enters the reshut harabim, do you require two of them, one for meat waste and one for dairy waste (I am assuming that human waste can go in either as it doesn’t count as milchigs or fleishigs anymore at that point!).
    Daniel 04/13/2010 11:05 AM
    I actually think that Gil is raising a very serious concern. It is even more of a problem in garbage disposals- in which people pour meat and milk into the same sink.

    The larger issue, however, are floors. it is clear to me that one would need a separate floor for meat and milk, especialy id one has children in the house. I guess one could be “pogem” the floow in between each meal- by pouring a bit of bleach on the floor- but even that method is questionable (see Shach/Taz YD 95).

    I also believe that one should have a different range hood for meat and dairy- du to the problems of zeah- see YD 108.

    Some people are just ready to fully embrace the halacha’s demands.
    jadedtopaz 04/13/2010 11:22 AM in reply to thanbo
    What does “jewish freegans” have to do with my comment which was about not throwing away food even if we no longer want it.
    I’m not really familiar with any kind of freegans but that is a whole different separate sad concept.
    I always try giving to as many of the homeless on the streets as I can in the city.
    I feel so bad for all of them and some of them have been around since my very first job. Theres this one individual whose “chant” still haunts me cuz I went back specifically once to give him and he wasn’t there and this individual had been at a specific corner ever since I can remember …… anyway I think its much better to give money than leftover sandwiches one has to always treat those in need with the utmost dignity. ……..

    I was referring specifically to food that is generally thrown away but would be perfectly fine for deer rabbits raccoons chipmunks and maybe even skunks .
    “roeh lakelev” comes to mind and I think that the wildlife around us could use the care and concern, its not that big of a deal to allocate the stuff especially when they come around looking for stuff anyway .

    Think of all the gardens that would be better off and how many roses and zinnias would be saved in the process .
    guest 04/13/2010 11:46 AM
    1) In Part II, the Rambam you reference has an incorrect citation; I assume that you refer to Hilchos Maachalos Asuros 9:2. You also got the argument backwards: the Torah certainly does NOT mention any prohibition to eat basar bechalav. In fact, the entire point of this Rambam (and Kessef Mishnah) is to ascertain why the Torah does not explicitly forbid eating basar bechalav; they explain that, once the Torah forbade cooking basar bechalav, it becomes obvious that this mixture is so foreign to us that it must be forbidden to eat it. This does not seem to indicate cooking is limited to cases of eating – if anything, it implies the exact opposite.

    2) In response to ER above, who asked if this is not a davar she’eino miskavein, pouring hot milk on top of hot meat (or vice versa) is actually a pesik reisha, which is forbidden regarding Shabbos. However, there are some poskim who do permit even pesik reisha with regards to basar bechalav (see Darchei Teshuva 87:89 for a discussion). In fact, this (combined with the opinion that irui kli rishon is not considered cooking mid’oraisa) is probably the reason that most people are not stringent about pouring even hot food into the garbage can.

    3) As I am sure all of the “historians” in the comments above are aware, garbage cans are a relatively new invention (the first trash can was patented in 1810 in London). Your ancestors got rid of garbage by throwing it in the street, and it certainly was very unlikely that ANYONE would throw away hot food because of the waste involved. There is no mesora about trash cans. As far as minhagim go, in fact, see Rema 87:6 and 94:3 – who indicates that the minhag in a similar situation (pouring out water leftover after cleaning) was to be machmir regarding mixing it with the opposite type of food if it were still hot.
    David Tzohar 04/13/2010 11:53 AM
    This all sounds like purim toira
    Mark 04/13/2010 12:02 PM in reply to Daniel
    The floor issue is silly! Food dropped on the floor by children (or even adults) is NOT hot anymore and there is no issue of bishul.

    The range hood is quite a big concern because of the filters. The filters are usually supposed to be put into the dishwasher for cleaning (per the manufacturer). The problem is – which dishwasher do you use, the milchigs one or the fleishigs one? In my case, I don’t put them (my range hood has two filters) into either dishwasher and instead wash them by hand in the slop sink (which doesn’t have a disposer and doesn’t ever have food placed into the drain) in the garage.
    ER 04/13/2010 12:20 PM in reply to guest
    It’s only a psik raisha if you knew for sure that there was a piece of meat which would be hit by the milk while the milk is still hot (or vice versa), which I would imagine is not the case in the vast majority of cases of throwing food into a garbage can. And I would suggest that if indeed, there is a piece of meat sitting right there on top where you can see it, then yes, you probably should not throw out hot milk right on top of it until things cool down.
    anony 04/13/2010 01:12 PM
    “It’s not as crazy as you might think.” Does that comment apply to all the laws of kashrut or just to this particular reductio ad absurdum? Keep in mind that from the perspective of 99.44% of the world, all of kashrus is crazy.
    Ira1 04/13/2010 01:14 PM
    I don’t understand, if we follow this logic, some would forbid any jewish person, from working as a 1) Sanitation worker, placing garbage in the truck, which would mix it all together, 2) as a garbage truck driver and dumper, placing the garbage in the dump along with all the other garbage, especially in the summer where the garbage is heated and melded together (and then eventually can be used as fertilizer so you are getting benefit from the mixture) 3) As a garbage dump owner, or waste owner, since you are deriving income from the entire process, 4) Jewish municipal dumps in Israel which mix everything together (I guess if you want to be machmir, there would need to be a “heter mechira” to sell the garbage dump and land to a non-jew, although probably some of those that would be machmir, are against selling any land to a non jew in israel, as a result of their opposition to the heter mechira for shemita.

    I guess this is why some people don’t work in Israel. Its to be ratz midvar aveira. Ashreichem Yisroel!
    Ben 04/13/2010 02:14 PM
    I recall a news story in the past year or two warning against setting garbage cans on fire for this very reason. Granted it isn’t derech bishul, but there were rabbinic authorities advising against it halachic reasons along with the obvious safety concerns.
    hirhurim 04/13/2010 02:19 PM
    I’m not sure what led to all the hostility.

    Ira1: Not all professions are open to Jews and you have to ask she’eilos about whether a particular job is permitted. I can’t see anything wrong with working as a garbage collector because the food isn’t hot enough to be cooked at that point.

    guest: You are correct that my quote from the Rambam was wrong. Sorry about that – it was from memory. But the logic still works.
    Anon E Mouse 04/13/2010 02:34 PM
    Gil – your calendar must be off – April first was the week before last.
    ruvie 04/13/2010 02:39 PM
    guest – i am perplexed by your anti “historians” remark. of course you jest. i guess you believe that people threw their waste into the street (directly from the frying pan?) till the early 1800’s – because the trash can wasn’t patented. the spring air has brought us the silly season. do you know anyone with trash cans in their kitchen – ever?
    fun facts of history for everyone:
    3000 bce – first landfill known – in crete
    500 bce – new law that garbage must be 1 mile from city – athens
    1407 ce britain passes law that waste must be stored inside till the rakers remove it
    1657 ce manhattan passes law against throwing waste in the streets – didn’t say it was from the window – probably stop much early than that.

    how long does it take to establish mesora/tradition (or change a light bulb) – 400, 600, 1000 years?
    hirhurim 04/13/2010 02:41 PM
    I actually have a thick skin and a pretty healthy self-confidence, so the comments don’t bother me and I only think less of you anyway. But I find it interesting that people think it’s OK to be that dismissive over something that I obviously spent time working on. I suspect that none of you would say it to my face.
    the junior 04/13/2010 03:03 PM in reply to hirhurim
    i certainly would
    the fact that you spent time on it doesn’t mean it’s not nonsense
    plenty of people waste their lives writing nonsense …
    Daniel 04/13/2010 03:05 PM
    I think it was the title, more than the content- that seems to have upset the masses.
    keep up the hard work- we do appreciate it!
    jadedtopaz 04/13/2010 03:22 PM in reply to the junior
    Learning halacha and or writing halacha posts is never a waste of time.
    How else did you expect to understand how life works, properly.
    Its all about understanding the laws and the underlying basis, and knowing when and where to apply them.
    Theres nothing nonsensical about that.
    MiMedinat HaYam 04/13/2010 03:51 PM
    from now on, every jewish community needs a symbolic boundary (eruv) and extensive garbage services not just on erev pesach, besides our educational requirements, and zoning preferences for synagogues.

    anything else?

    gov christie would be proud!
    lawrence kaplan 04/13/2010 04:05 PM
    Again, Gil, what I found problematic is the implication of your last sentence that this is a matter of practical halakhah.

    To elaborate on my brother’s point: The default position ought to be that if a particular practice has never considered to be halakhically problematic, its permissibilty ought to be assumed, unless shown to be otherrwise That is, .the burden of proof is on those who wish to raise questions as to its permissibility. They must show how society has changed in such ways as as to raise those questions . Otherwise, as is the case here, as a matter of practical halakhah the practice is non-problematic. Of course, we may be theoretically interested in why it is not problematic, but that is a matter, again, of derosh ve-kabel sechar, and does not require consulting one’s LOR.
    hirhurim 04/13/2010 04:28 PM
    Dr. Kaplan: I put that on all halakhah posts.
    hirhurim 04/13/2010 05:02 PM
    Actually, thinking back, I specifically put in the last line for a reason. R. Hershel Schachter ends his write-up of the story about R. Moshe Soloveichik and the science experiment with a bracketed comment to look at the Badei HaShulchan to see what other poskim say about it. I couldn’t find anything relevant in the Badei HaShulchan but I got the feeling from Rav Schachter’s language that he would not permit such an experiment. I haven’t had the opportunity to ask him about it but, anyway, everyone faced with such a situation should ask their own rabbi. But so as not to appear as contradicting what I think Rav Schachter might hold, I put in the line.
    Eskimo 04/13/2010 05:30 PM
    It doesn’t say anywhere in the Shulchan Aruch that you need separate dishes for milk and meat. But Jewish women (& men today) have always kept that tradition. This is one of the very few areas of mimetic halakha that remain. I state again, it is crazy because no one ever did it. Find me one report of someone in the previous generation doing this.

    It is fine to have a theoretical discussion. . . There are lots of teshuvas discussing whether water should be kosher for Pesach. But no one ever doubted the outcome.
    huh? 04/13/2010 05:53 PM in reply to Eskimo
    What in Heaven’s name are you talking about? Shulchan Aruch certainly does require separate utensils (see Yoreh Deah #87 and on).
    MiMedinat HaYam 04/13/2010 06:50 PM
    i just got a press release from the vaad hakashrut hamayim (the org really exists! they supervise the filters).

    they are now a “green” organization, recycling disposed filters, so the copepods now neutralize (parevize) the garbage.

    problem solved.

    next week, we’ll be reading a post of how the copepods are eating the garbage, so it really is a pglm.

    (what is the yeshivish word for copepods?)
    Eskimo 04/13/2010 07:08 PM in reply to huh?
    Not dishes, just pots. It isn’t my observation, it is Hayim Soloveitchik’s.
    lawrence kaplan 04/13/2010 07:49 PM
    Gil: You should have made it clear that your point about consult your LOR is re the issue of deliberately cooking meat and milk not in preparation for eating, not re separate garbage bags.
    Mair Zvi 04/13/2010 08:39 PM
    In keeping with the seriousness of this subject, I enclose the following e-mail which I received recently:

    Vaad Ha Tznius Issues Laundry Guidelines.

    It has come to our attention that many families, including those who pride themselves on following all aspects of halacha, are regularly not conforming to proper tznius guidelines. Unbelievably. many, many families are washing men’s and women’s clothing together at the same time in the same washing machine. This is an unprecedented breach of tznius! How could anyone think that one is allowed to wash men’s and women’s undergarments at the same time in the same load?! What has our nation come to when people have fallen to such a low level? For shame! This practice must stop!
    We are issuing the following guidelines regarding the doing of laundry.

    1. Ideally, each observant home should have two washing machines and two dryers-one washing machine and one dryer should be used exclusively for men’s clothing and the other washing machine and dryer should be used exclusively for women’s clothing.

    2. In he event that a family cannot afford two washing machines and two dryers, the following rules should be adhered to.
    a. Under no circumstances should men’s clothes be in the same machine as women’s clothes. They should , of course, also be dried separately.
    b. After doing a load of men’s clothing, one should run the washing machine through a full cycle without any clothes in it. Then one may wash women’s clothing in this machine. The same procedure should, of course, be followed after washing a load of women’s clothing, namely run a complete cycle without clothes in the machine.
    c. After drying a load of men’s clothing, the dryer should be allowed to cool off completely. After this, one mat use the dryer for women’s clothes. The same applies after drying a load of women’s clothing before using the dryer for men’s clothing. It is not enough to let the dryer cool below Yad Soledes Bo. The dryer must be completely cooled off.

    Our forefathers lived between two rivers- the Tigris and the Euphrates. The reason is obvious to anyone who thinks into it a bit. One river was for women’s clothing and the other to wash men’s clothing. Surely we can continue this tradition by observing the rules stated above.

    With Torah greetings,

    The Vaad Ha Tznius
    MiMedinat HaYam 04/13/2010 09:19 PM
    what about when my wife uses my towel (of course, after she washes the chalavi kitchen table and the basari dining room table, on opposite sides of the towel!)
    huh? 04/13/2010 09:52 PM in reply to Eskimo
    I assume you are referring to the following passage in Rupture and Reconstruction:

    “Did these mimetic norms—the culturally prescriptive–conform with the legal ones? The answer is, at times, yes; at times, no. And the significance of the no may best be brought home by an example with which all are familiar—the kosher kitchen, with its rigid separation of milk and meat—separate dishes, sinks, dish racks, towels, tablecloths, even separate cupboards. Actually little of this has a basis in Halakhah. Strictly speaking, there is no need for separate sinks, for separate dishtowels or cupboards. In fact, if the food is served cold, there is no need for separate dishware altogether. The simple fact is that the traditional Jewish kitchen, transmitted from mother to daughter over generations, has been immeasurably and unrecognizably amplified beyond all halakhic requirements. Its classic contours are the product not of legal exegesis, but of the housewife’s religious intuition imparted in kitchen apprenticeship.”

    Please read it carefully. All he is saying is that a great deal of what is done today is technically unnecessary. He is *not* saying that Shulchan Aruch does not require separate dishes! The relevant sections in Yoreh Deah are full of references to meat and dairy knives and plates. In fact, the classic case of “nat bar nat” — mentioned in the Gemara — is “dagim she’alu b’ke’arah shel basar”, [hot] fish that were placed on a fleishig serving plate.

    With regard to his statement about not needing separate dishware when serving cold, he’s really stretching it. I don’t believe that this is allowed on a steady basis unless those utensils were *always* used for cold. Furthermore, they would have to be cleaned very well between uses. So it is pretty clear that for most normal people (at least those who eat hot food on occasion), separate dishes are a true requirement. And this is without getting into issues of davar charif (sharp foods) etc.
    guest 04/13/2010 10:08 PM in reply to gpickholz
    Excuse me… I’m unaware that it’s illegal to own two garbage cans wherever you live. maybe in places where ppl leave the garbage can on the street but apt buidings usually have an incinerator or dump at least where i’ve lived. I’ve never had two sinks – not in the past and not now.. What are you talking about, no one has ever told me (and most of my friends and family are haredi) that they wont eat in my home w/o a second sink. calm down. I was merely pointing out that buying a second trash can is relatively inexpensive and cost is not the real issue here – at least in my opinion. If you see it otherwise, so be it.
    guest 04/13/2010 10:23 PM
    “maybe in places where ppl leave the garbage can on the street but apt buidings usually have an incinerator or dump at least where i’ve lived.”

    it might be illegal to put out a second garbage can on the street, but it’s still not illegal to OWN two garbage cans and one could always put the cooled trash bags together before putting the trash out….
    yossi 04/13/2010 10:27 PM in reply to Eskimo
    I would also guess that anything thrown in the rubbish is also Lifgum.

    This is a silly discussion, as crazy as it sounds.

    So when will all be told that normative halacha and tradition demands that we seperate our trash.
    yossi 04/13/2010 10:31 PM in reply to Mark
    Actually, I have a serious question,

    Do you actually need to sinks? After al they are not Killim Rishonim.
    yossi 04/13/2010 10:36 PM in reply to Mair Zvi
    You forgot that you need a third set of machines for periods of niddah.
    guest 04/13/2010 10:39 PM
    “Do you actually need to sinks? After al they are not Killim Rishonim.”

    you don’t need two sinks. if you pour both hot meat and dairy in it the sink itself is treif, so you have to be careful not to put hot things down directly in the sink. if you put in elevated rack you’ll be OK. separate racks for meat and dairy.
    guest 04/13/2010 10:56 PM
    oh and before anyone yells at me about the expense of two plastic racks and tells us whether this or that gadol had them in his sink – you don’t actually need them, you can manage without them too if you hold pots and dishes in your hand to wash them. splashing water that hit the sink back to the pot is usually not a problem, but maybe be careful if youre not used to it.
    Observer 04/13/2010 11:43 PM
    What I am saying is something I would say to your face:

    I find this discussion very disturbing, because, as others have stated, the implication that there really is a serious question as to the permissibility of using one garbage receptacle. While others have posted jokes about similar issues, I have actually seen a serious claim that a frum home really DOES “need” two refrigerators to keep kosher.

    As a side note, allow me to point out that your example of intentionally really cooking meat and dairy together for some experiment is totally different from the remote possibility of some scrap of meat being partially scalded by some hot liquid, totally unintentionally and with no benefit to anyone or anything.

    (My use of a pseudonym is not because of you, but because I’ve learned to be cautious even on reasonably well policed sites)
    guest 04/13/2010 11:47 PM
    By the way, Yalkut Yosef (87:24-5) discusses this question. He comes out that there are many reasons to be meikil, but it is proper to be machmir and not pour hot milk from a kli rishon directly on top of meat (or vice versa) even in the garbage. He discusses the Kessef Mishnah, but says that the meaning of the Kessef Mishnah’s ruling is subject to a machlokes (some say that he is just giving “taama d’kra” but practically a “lo plug” applies); in conclusion, he says that the hetter of bishul “shelo letzorech” can only be used as a s’nif l’hakel. [I would assume that he (like RHS) would therefore be strict in the experiment.]
    elliotpasik 04/14/2010 09:14 AM
    “If we follow this Kessef Mishneh in practice, then we do not need separate garbage cans for dairy and meat. Even if hot dairy and meat mix in the garbage and are incidentally cooked, this kind of cooking is permitted.

    “As always, check with your rabbi on issues of practical halakhah.”

    I found the post informative, and it kept my attention. Sometimes the discussion of an absurd fact pattern can illustrate an important halachic or legal point, which this post does. The above last two paragraphs did make me smile and worry, however, implicitly suggesting another point of view, and another chumrah around the corner. The caveat does seem superfluous.
    Mark 04/14/2010 10:09 AM in reply to elliotpasik
    I found the post informative, and it kept my attention. Sometimes the discussion of an absurd fact pattern can illustrate an important halachic or legal point, which this post does.

    I agree with this. Look to the gemara for other examples. Just recently (two days ago), the daf yomi (Sanhedrin 59b) discussed harnessing a goat and a fish together and if it is kelaim and assur. It may be absurd, but it is providing an halachic point (or part of an halachic discussion).
    David 04/14/2010 10:41 AM
    1 person liked this.
    Did anyone ever hear of Davar Sheainao Miskavein? There is not intent to cook here. And it’s not a psik reisha either.
    moshe123 04/14/2010 12:18 PM in reply to zach
    Aha…. so now there is no freedom of speech when it comes to Halakhic questions? One cannot ask a question and explain why we act in a certain way?

    How about the first point of Gil? Do you think it is OK to put a hot steak right out of the oven (because it is too salty) onto a piece of cheese in the garbage, or is that also “going overboard” with the Halakhic process?

    I find it hard to understand why you take offense at a post that deals rationally and clearly with a halakhic shaila.
    Observer 04/14/2010 12:44 PM in reply to moshe123
    >Aha…. so now there is no freedom of speech when it comes to Halakhic questions?

    You’re kidding, right? “Freedom of speech” doesn’t mean that you won’t get laughed out of the building.
    moshe123 04/14/2010 12:48 PM in reply to Observer
    This has nothing to do with being laughed out of the building and everything to do with the post being considered as being “overboard” by some. If you want to disagree – by all means, but bring debatable arguments as opposed to “going overboard with the halakhic process”
    Observer 04/14/2010 01:53 PM in reply to moshe123
    Free speech has nothing to do with it. No one is coming to arrest Gil, or hack his blog, or close your internet connection so that you can’t read his post. His post being considered “overboard” or dumb or stupid or embarrassing or foolish or trash is no stira to free speech. Free speech doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a respectful reception to anything you say.
    Joseph Kaplan 04/14/2010 01:55 PM in reply to moshe123
    I think most of the objections to the post were objections to the implication that this is a real halachic issue rather than simply a hypothetical question which raises interesting halachic principles. My guess is that there would have been many fewer, and perhaps no, objections if the post had begun something like this: “No one has ever suggested that people need two garbage cans for meat and dairy; here’s why.”
    YK 04/14/2010 01:59 PM
    R’ Gil,

    I find the post to be informative, although it seems that you are saying the lekach tov disagrees with the kesef mishnah? That is not so – the kesef mishnah says that cooking is a biblical safeguard, the lekach tov only quotes the kesef mishnah to prove his point that the Torah itself makes safeguards.

    If we understand that as a safeguard, it would not be permissible to cook meat and milk even when there is absolutely no intent of eating it.

    There is a similar discussion about washing milk and meat towels together in a dishwasher (particularly since they may both have actual milk/meat on them). It would seem a no brainer to be matir, considering the soap and the fact that the water in the machine is more than 60x the amount of milk and/or meat (you only need 60x one of them). There is no issue of bittul issur lechatchila, since that is definitely dependent on intention to eat – in fact, hechsher keilim relies on bittul issur lechatchila if the keili is a ben yomo.

    The towels are discussed in yalkut yosef, as well as shevet ha’kehasi 4:190. However, see chayei halevi 5, 56:7 who is actually machmir with regard to the towels! I disagree with his conclusion, but that is no reason not to discuss it!
    guest 04/14/2010 06:11 PM
    “and not pour hot milk from a kli rishon directly on top of meat (or vice versa) even in the garbage”

    actually i am grateful for this post b/c i never thought about this – really, it doesn’t happen that often that one is pouring hot milk/cheese etc onto meat in the garbage, but there’s no reason not to avoid doing this on the rare occasions that it might happen. so thanks for the post.
    lev midaber 04/14/2010 07:11 PM in reply to hirhurim
    Would R’ Moshe Soloveitchik’s ruling apply whether the food were never intended to be consumed by a Jew, or only if it were not to be consumed at all? What about someone in culinary school or nutritional sciences who must spend a certain number of required hours preparing or serving food in a non-Jewish setting? Certainly these are consult your LOR questions, but I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    Also, is the source for the Kessef Mishna correct – Hilchos Tumas Meis? If so, this would be a beautiful example of the need to be thoroughly familiar with the entire Mishna Torah in order to know the opinion of the Rambam or commentaries on a particular topic.
    guest 04/14/2010 09:55 PM
    Yes, the source for Kessef Mishnah is correct. However, Rabbi Akiva Eiger does cite it in the proper place in Hilchos Maachalos Asuros 🙂
    yossi 04/14/2010 11:19 PM in reply to YK
    There is a similar discussion about washing milk and meat towels together in a dishwasher (particularly since they may both have actual milk/meat on them)

    personally I prefer to wash my towels in a clothes washing machine.

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