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Ask the rabbi Halacha Waiting Between Meals

Potatoes that were cooked with meat

Question
Somebody Cooks together potatoes and meat, he does not eat the meat only the potatoes,so he has to wait six hours. Is it because the potatoes are Bolea or it's as if you are eating the meat itself ?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. You are correct that someone who eats potatoes that were cooked together with meat must wait before eating milk. This issue is ruled in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah, 89,3). Although the Shulchan Aruch does quote an opinion that one does not have to wait after eating such food, the universal Jewish practice today (for both Sephardi and Ashkanazi Jews) is indeed to wait. Your question is what is the reason for waiting – is it because the potatoes have adsorbed some of the meat taste, or because you are eating meat? It is clear that you are not eating the meat, after all only the potatoes were consumed. However, you could perhaps ask does one have to wait because they are eating meat taste, which may be equivalent to eating meat, or is it purely a Rabbinic fence that one must wait lest they one time really do eat the meat? This issue is an argument between the Maharam and the Rema (ibid). The Maharam believes that parve food cooked with the meat becomes like the meat itself, and therefore requires waiting. However, the Rema believes that while the potatoes remain “non-meaty”, because they were cooked together with the meat, we require waiting, lest one would mistakenly not wait after eating the meat itself. The practical difference comes up if one at the potatoes and now wants to eat not milk, but say carrots cooked together with pieces of hard cheder cheese. If we rule like the Maharam, then we would say that this is forbidden – the potatoes are like meat and the carrots like milk, and they cannot be eaten one after the other, until the correct time has passed. But according to the Rema, there may be room to be lenient, as this would be a “fence to a fence” - the potatoes only require waiting as a protective fence, and so to the carrots are only considered “milk” as a fence, and usually we do not require be “twice strict” and having to put up a fence around a fence, as it were. In practice, this issue rarely comes up – but it is an interesting halacha to study. Blessings.
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