Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Those Tricky Dairy Drinks...

Since I "went kosher" in June 2010, the most annoying thing remains drinks. I am apparently incapable of remembering that drinks can and will be dairy.

I don't drink milk and I rarely eat meat products, so my kitchen is almost entirely dairy. I rarely have to think about dairy v. meat except for what I bring into the house. In those rare times that I'm fleishig (aka, in the period after eating meat when dairy is prohibited - thankfully, only 3 hours for me), it's always drinks that trip me up. I can remember to avoid eating cheese or yogurt, etc, but I have the hardest time remembering that many non-dairy-looking drinks are actually dairy.

I'm much better now than I was several months ago, but only because I always remember that this is a mistake I'm susceptible to! As a practical matter, this means I try to avoid eating or drinking anything but water in those 3 hours. This would be much more difficult if my minhag were 6 hours!

(As this is a post I thought of a few months ago, it hasn't been a problem in a while now, yay!)


  1. I'm so glad you are writing about this, because I've been wanting to ask a fellow convert about the 3 hours v. 6 hours debate for a while. I know that various different communities have different minhagim when it comes to waiting for dairy after meat - for example, the Dutch famously (allegedly) wait an hour and a half. Do you know of a source that permits a convert to take on one of these less stringent minhagim? I have always done 6 hours because the sources with which I'm familiar are machmir on this issue. I'm not looking to switch at this point, because I'm already used to waiting 6 hours, but I am curious to know how other converts have dealt with this issue.

    What was your approach to choosing a minhag generally, for this and other issues? Some converts/BTs adopt the minhag of the person who inspired them to become Jewish/frum; others adopt the minhag of a sponsoring rabbi or the rabbi of the community they move to... Did you have a particular minhag-selection strategy?

  2. Oh yes, that post is coming...

    To be honest, I'm not even sure how I got to 3 hours originally because I chose than minhag years and years ago, even though I've only been using it consistently for 2-2.5 years. However, at least today, I have a justification that my understanding is that the point is to separate meals. My doctor, years ago, advised me that for blood sugar reasons, I should eat a small meal every 3-4 hours rather than 3 large meals a day. That may or may not be the reasoning I applied initially, but it certainly applies now. The common response to that is "But there are pareve meals!" Granted, that's true, but if the point is to separate meals, why should I be forced to eat a pareve meal? That seems to be a stringency to me, and that stringency doesn't appear to be required. Those are my uninformed two cents. Granted, if rabbis were willing to teach me, maybe I'd know these things!

  3. Do you have some examples of what kind of drinks, I'm so curious

  4. As a convert in the UK I was told to keep 3 hours, until I'm married, at which point I will follow my hubby's minhag.