Fish and Dairy [Milk Cheese Butter]

Fish with dairy:[1]

There is no Basar Bechalav prohibition involved in cooking and/or eating fish with milk, even Rabbinically.[2] Nonetheless, the Poskim debate as to whetehr it is forbidden to eat the two together due to danger, similar to the prohibition of eating fish and meat together due to danger. Some Poskim[3] rule it is forbidden to eat fish with milk [or cheese[4]] due to danger[5], just like it is forbidden to eat fish with meat. Practically, this is the custom of Sefaradic Jewry.[6] Other Poskim[7] however rule that it is permitted to eat fish with any dairy product as there is no danger involved. Practically, the Ashkenazi custom is to permit it without reservation.[8]

Butter with fish: It is permitted to eat fish with butter even according to the stringent opinion and custom of the Sefaradim.[9] However, there are Poskim[10] who are stringent to prohibit eating fish even with butter.

Chabad Custom:[11] The Tzemach Tzedek rules that the custom is to be stringent to not eat milk [and cheese] with fish unless one adds butter to the fish.[12] Some[13] write that this means to say that if one mixes butter into the milk or cheese it may be eaten with fish. Practically today many in Chabad are accustomed to refrain from eating fish with milk products unless butter is added, although others are lenient.



If one adds butter to the cheese or milk may it be eaten with fish?

Some[14] learn that if butter is added to the mixture it may be eaten even with milk or cheese.


If one is stringent not to eat fish with milk what is the law if a mixture occurred; may the fish or milk still be eaten?

Some Poskim[15] rule that Bedieved the mixture is permitted even without having 60x. Others[16] rule the mixture is forbidden to be eaten.


Should one who is stringent not to eat fish with dairy rinse his mouth and wash his hands prior to eating fish after milk or vice versa?[17]

Yes. One is to perform Kinuach and Hadacha and wash his hands in between just as is done when eating meat after fish.



[1] See Pischeiy Teshuvah 87:9; Darkei Teshuvah 87:43; Kaf Hachaim 87:24; Orach Chaim 173:3; Shaareiy Yoreh Deah Miluim 4 who bring the many opinions of Poskim on this matter; Hakashrus page 427-428;

[2] Michaber 87:3; Rav Ashi in Chulin 104

[3] Beis Yosef 87 [based on current wording]; Levush in Ateres Zahav 87:7 [Brought in Shach 87:5; Taz 87:3]; Rabbeinu Bechayeh Parshas Mishpatim; Kneses Hagedola 87:19 in name of Sheiris Yehuda; Chinuch Beis Yehuda 61; Peri Megadim M”Z 87:3 in name of Poskim [brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid]; Pachad Yitzchak Mareches Habeis [with actual milk is danger of death]; Mor Uketzia 173; Adnei Paz 42; Otzar Chaim [brought in Darkei Teshuvah]; Rav Poalim 2:10; Kaf Hachaim 87:25; 173:3; Yechaveh Daas 6:48; Other Poskim that the Darkei Teshuvah ibid refers the reader to: Mateh Yosef 2:7; Besi David  33; Ikaarei Daat Yoreh Deah 14:5; Yad David 87:10.


The Beis Yosef ibid writes that one may not eat fish with milk due to danger [unlike his ruling in 87:3]. The Levush in Ateres Zahav ibid records the ruling of the Beis Yosef as the final Halacha. This prohibition due to danger is also found in the Rabbeinu Bechayeh who was a Rishon. So rules also Chinuch Beis Yehuda 61 [brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid] and many of the Poskim brought above. The Peri Megadim ibid brings in the name of the Kenesses Hagdola and Beis Lechem Yehuda to be careful not to eat them together since a “danger is more stringent than a prohibition.”The Kaf Hachaim ibid concludes that one is to be stringent unless it has already become a public leniency in one’s area.

The opinion of the doctors: Some Poskim write that they have spoken to many doctors and there is no danger involved. The Oatzar Hachaim ibid, who was an expert doctor, writes that it can bring many illnesses. The Chinuch Beis Yehuda ibid writes that he investigated the matter by doctors and they stated that there is danger involved.

[4] Adnei Paz ibid; Kneses Hagedola ibid; Rav Poalim 2:10; Kaf Hachaim ibid explicitly mention cheese; This is also the simple understanding of all Poskim above that the word milk includes all milk products. The Aruch Hashulchan 87:15 writes the opposite that there is only danger if one eats cheese with fish and not milk with fish.

Other Opinions: The Pachad Yitzchak ibid who was also a Doctor writes that there is grave danger only with actual milk and not with cheese or butter, however he himself was stringent like the Beis Yosef to avoid even cheese.

[5] The reason it gives danger: The Rabbeinu Bechayeh ibid writes that it can cause leprosy. The Pachad Yitzchak ibid writes that fish with milk can cause instant death. The Oatzar Hachaim ibid, who was an expert doctor, writes that it can bring many illnesses. The Chinuch Beis Yehuda ibid writes that it is dangerous because fish cools the body and causes the milk to be a danger.

[6] Rav Poalim 2:10; Yechaveh Daas 6:48; Hakashrus ibid [The two Sefaradi Poskim that stand out to permit it are the Peri Chadash and Chida brought in next footnote.]

[7]  Michaber 87:3; Darkei Moshe 87:4; Perisha 87:8; Magen Avraham 173:1; Shach 87:5; Taz 87:3; Peri Chadash 87:8; Machazik Bracha 87:4; Pischeiy Teshuvah 87:9; Chasam Sofer 101; Yad Yehuda 87:6; Yad Efraim 87; Aruch Hashulchan 87:15 [regarding fish and milk]


The Darkei Moshe; Shach; Taz; Aruch Hashulchan ibid state that there is a misprint in the Beis Yosef on the Tur and in truth he meant to write fish with meat and not milk. Thus all those that rules based on the Beis Yosef that it is forbidden were based on a misprint. The Chasam Sofer 101 states the Rambam who himself was a doctor can be trusted that it contains no danger. A number of Poskim bring both opinions and conclude that no one is careful in this anymore it is and therefore it is even initially allowed. [So concludes Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Yad Yehuda ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid]

[8] Darkei Moshe ibid; Shach ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid; [The two Ashkenazi Poskim that stand out to forbid it are the Levush and P”M brought in previous footnotes.]

[9] Tzemach Tzedek brought in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 5 page 177 [omitted from Shulchan Menachem]; Peri Megadim 173 A”A 1; Y.D. 87 M”Z 3 in name of Kneses Hagedola; Elya Raba 173:16; Beis Lechem Yehuda 87:3; Chinuch Beis Yehuda ibid; Adnei Paz ibid; Beis David 33; Zivcheiy Tzedek 87:18; Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Hakashrus ibid

[10] Rav Poalim 2:10

[11] Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 5 page 177 [omitted from Shulchan Menachem]

The custom of the Chabad Rabbeim: Rav Yaakov Landau testified that the Rabbeim were stringent not to eat fish with cheese or milk. Some however claim that the Rebbe himself would eat fish and cottage cheese on the same plate. [Hiskashrus 464] Rav Leibal Groner replied to me that he never saw the Rebbe eat fish and cheese on the same plate.

[12] The Tzemach Tzedek stated that although the source for such avoidance is said to be a misprint nevertheless the custom is to be stringent. [ibid]

[13] Shaareiy Yoreh Deah ibid; footnote of editors in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag ibid

[14] Shaareiy Yoreh Deah ibid; footnote of editors in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag ibid

[15] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid based on P”M 87 M”Z 3

[16] Adnei Paz 44 brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid

[17] Kneses Hagedola 87:19; Kaf Hachaim 173:3

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