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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Ki Sisa-Parah

Fish and Dips

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by HaRav Yechiel Biberfeld

March 10, 2023


You shall not cook a tender young animal in its mother’s milk.

Shmos 34:26

The Gemara (Pesachim 76b; see Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 116) forbids eating or cooking meat and fish together due to a concern for tzara’as.

It would seem from here that eating milk and fish together is permitted. But the Bais Yosef (Y.D. 87) says that too is dangerous and forbidden. The Darchei Moshe writes that he never saw anyone who was careful with this stringency, and it has no basis,[1] so the Bais Yosef must have actually written meat and fish. The Shach (Y.D. 87) concurs that there is a ta’us sofer (scribal error) in the text. Most Acharonim also support this position and permit fish and milk combinations, but a number of them rule strictly (including the Levush, a talmid of the Rama/Darchei Moshe).[3] Some Acharonim, including the Pis’chei Teshuvah (Y.D. 87), write that a fish and cheese mix (like a tuna casserole or tuna melt) might be forbidden even if fish and milk combinations are permitted.

Among contemporary poskim, R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that his family minhag was to avoid fish with cheese, but he said others needn’t be strict. Rav Elyashiv (He’aros, Chulin 104b) opposed cooking fish and cheese together, though he permitted eating a bagel with lox and cream cheese. The widespread custom is not to be strict, though some are, and there is certainly a basis for stringency.[4]

[1] The Darchei Moshe also notes that the Bais Yosef himself references the Tur in Orach Chaim (173) as the source for this ruling, but the Tur there discusses only fish and meat, not fish and milk.

[2] The list of those who permit is quite extensive and includes the Taz, Pri Chadash, Chasam Sofer, Aruch Hashulchan, and Yad Efraim.

[3] The Pri Megadim (Y.D. 87, in the M.Z. and S.D.), Elyah Rabah, Bais Dovid, and Chinuch Bais Yehudah also rule strictly.

[4] Many Sphardim are careful not to eat fish and dairy together, as recommended by the Yalkut Yosef (Y.D. 87:34).


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