Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cholov Ackum

"Anonymous" asked me: "Does Chabad hold that Cholov Stam is treif? A Rabbi paskened that is okay, so then we cannot hold it's treif, right?"


Yes. We hold that cholov stam is treif.
What this means is that if milk that was not cholov yisroel cooked in your pot, you would have to kasher it (There is a Tshuva from the Tzemach Tzedek about a goy who was in a Jew's house without the owner present for a certain amount of time, where he had to Kasher his dishes.). It is not kosher to eat.

This is a Halacha in Shulchan Aruch. It is stated clearly that milk that was milked by a non-Jew is Assur.

Now, there is the famous Heter is from R' Moshe Feinstein.
This Heter is taken and used by many Orthodox non-Lubavitchers.
For people listening to these rabbanim, we do not say that they are eating treif.

Here's where the problems come in:

The famous Heter that R' Moshe gave was only for babies who needed it for health reasons, and no Cholov Yisroel was available. He says that we can rely on this heter, because anyway, the reason for the issur was that maybe a goy would add milk from a nonkosher animal, and since nowadays, the government makes sure that the milk is regulated, vechulu, you can be matir the milk.

We disagree with the Rabbanim who use this heter to permit drinking cholov stam (unless you are a two-week old baby, and live somewhere that you cannot ship milk to...).
These are knowledgeable Rabbis, though, so we cannot say that they are 100% wrong, and their constituents are eating Treif. We must judge everyone L'Kaf Zchus.

But we do not agree with how they have taken this heter and extended it for everybody and anytime.
Of course, everyone agrees that Cholov Yisroel is better, and I'm sure the Rabbanim that permit Chalav Akum say that it should be only if necessary...

Here's another problem:

There are two types of decrees.
A decree that is made because of a certain reason, and a decree that is made that has no reason now, but is given one later.
And even the decree that is made because of a certain reason, many times we hold that the decree is still in effect even if the reason is not present anymore.

The decree against drinking Cholov Akum is the second type.
Only years later (in the times of the gemara? Before then? I'm not sure when, but it was a long time ago) did the Rabbanim add a reason to this decree. The reason that goyim may add their own milk if you aren't looking.

R' Moshe's Heter was based mainly on the idea that now the government regulates our country's milk, so you know where I'm heading with this. The reason only came after, to give someone a simple explanation for the decree, but the decree existed before, whether for a different reason or for none at all.

In short: We hold it's treif. We don't think that those who listen to their Rabbanim that permit it are eating treif, but halachically we do find many problems with their logic. We think they are not learning R' Moshe's Heter correctly.

Here's a question for you: If we hold that this milk is treif and you have to kasher your pots, and so on, then if this milk would come into contact with meat, would you have a problem of milk and meat? The Halacha for the prohibition of milk and meat is only for Kosher meat and Kosher milk....
The answer is: of course it is still considered milk and meat. From the Torah, remember, that this milk is 100% kosher as long as it came from a Kosher animal. The Rabbinic Sages were the ones to prohibit Cholov Akum. They did this to be stricter. So you wouldn't use their decree to make a Biblical Prohibition more lenient.

And finally: The Rebbe said that eating Cholov Stam is Metameh the person's mochin, his chachma, bina, and da'as.

I hope that answers your question.