To abstain from all unclean animals (food), is Torah (the first five books of the Bible: Genesis through Deuteronomy). To 'keep kosher' the Jewish way, is both Torah and rabbinic. There is a big difference. God requires that we eat only clean meat (Torah: Lev. 11 and Deut. 14), and so do the Rabbis. But the Rabbis go further. Keeping kosher means that one doesn't eat any dairy products with meat. The Rabbis say that one cannot have cheese with clean meat, or even use a plate for meat, that once had cheese on it.
The separation of dairy and meat, with the rabbinic injunction that it's sin if one violates it, is based on the Scripture about not boiling a kid in its mother's milk. The rabbinic view is that one should not eat meat and dairy together thereby avoiding the possibility of breaking the Commandment.1 Of course, God never says in this Commandment that one can't eat meat and dairy together, but this is how the Rabbis have interpreted it.
This rabbinic rule came about through a perverse interpretation of Exodus 23:19 (the same verse being repeated in Ex. 34:26 and Deut. 14:21). The proper understanding of this verse deals with the ancient Egyptian and Canaanite idolatrous fertility rite.2 The liquid (milk), was sprinkled over the fields by the pagans, after the fall harvest, 'to ensure' a bountiful harvest from their god or goddess, for next year. Exodus 23:19 reads:
'The first of the first fruits of your Land you must bring into the House of Yahveh your God. You must not boil a kid in his mother's milk.'
From this last sentence the Rabbis have constructed a veritable Mt. Everest of rabbinical regulations relating to the separation of meat and dairy and also the separation of dishes, silverware, pots, pans; sinks for washing the dishes in, and even separate refrigerators for keeping dairy and meat products. One can not place meat on a dairy dish (or vice versa), or the dish (pot, pan, etc.), becomes contaminated.3 Interesting to realize is that none of these meat or dairy products are prohibited, or sin in and of themselves (for the meat eaten by religious Jews would be clean according to Lev. 11, and all dairy products are naturally clean), but to eat the two at the same meal is sin, according to the Rabbis. In this they sin against both Yahveh, and the Jewish people who follow their rabbinic, perverse practice.
The first two passages of the kid in it's mother milk comes right on the heels of the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). The Feast of Tabernacles is the end time or autumn harvest feast of God. It comes in October. And in the third passage where the kid is mentioned, immediately after that is the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 14:22ff).
The Lord was declaring to His People Israel, that after the harvest season was over, when the pagan peoples around them would practice idolatry and witchcraft 'to insure a good harvest' for themselves for the next year, they were not to imitate the pagans. Israel was to trust Yahveh for next year's bountiful harvest.
We cannot find one Scripture where God commands that we abstain from eating dairy and meat together. Not one. The Rabbis have perverted the Scriptures when they declare that it is sin to eat meat and dairy together. A perversion that takes away from the Commandments of God by misinterpreting and falsifying them. The Rabbis have set up a false standard of sin. If a Jew eats cheese and meat together, they are sinning, according to the Rabbis. This rabbinic 'commandment' is confused with holiness. Many Jews think that they are good Jews, or holy, or worthy of Heaven, because they don't eat meat with dairy products. It is Man perverting the Word of God to his own destruction.
Biblically though, there is no problem with eating meat and dairy together. We see that the Lord Himself, and two angels did it, although the Rabbis try and get around this by saying that they waited 18 minutes after they ate the dairy, to eat the meat. (Eighteen minutes being only one school of rabbinic thought on how long one must wait after eating dairy, to eat meat. To eat dairy, after one has eaten meat, one must wait upwards of four to six hours. A great nutritional health practice for sure4 but hardly sin if one does not adhere to it.) There is another rabbinic school of thought that would make light of God and two angels eating meat and dairy together. They say that it was done before Torah was given on Mt. Sinai to Israel. But this too is a shallow reply to the Scriptures as nothing in all of Scripture shows us that eating meat and dairy together is sin.
The Scripture relates that Father Abraham gave Yahveh and His two angels (Gen. 18:22; 19:1), both dairy and meat to eat at the same time and that they ate it. In Genesis 18:8 we read:
'And he (Abraham) took butter (cream), and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.'
The Lord Himself5 and the two angels ate both the dairy and the meat at the same time. How can it be sin for us? The Rabbis have erred greatly, causing many millions of Jews to order their lives around this false standard. They have sinned against God and His Word by 'adding to' the Scriptures (Deut. 12:31).
'Whatever I command you, you must be careful to do. You must not add to, nor take away from it' (Deut. 12:32).
Of course, keeping kosher biblically should see the proper slaughter of the animal, with the subsequent draining of blood), as well as the prohibition not to eat any of the fat. Both the blood and the fat, as nutritionist point out to us, carry and are repositories for, toxins (poisons), respectively. That's why Yahveh commands us not to eat either of them:
'It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you must not eat any fat or any blood' (Lev. 3:17; see also, Lev. 7:23, 26; 19:26; Deut. 15:23, etc.).
For those of you who are Jewish, you might remember your grandmother's chicken schmultz (fat from the chicken that was used to cook meat and other things in, instead of using butter). How this was able to find a home in Judaism is beyond me.
From the Scriptures themselves, we have proven that it isn't a sin to eat dairy and meat together, if one so chooses. From ancient archeological findings (#2 in the notes section), boiling a kid in its mother's milk was a pagan fertility practice that Yahveh didn't want His people Israel to copy, not a dietary regulation. No Scripture tells us not to eat meat with dairy. None. But the Rabbis, not realizing the proper interpretation of boiling a kid in its mother's milk, set out and have built an incredible labyrinth of rules concerning the prohibition against eating meat and dairy together (different dishes, etc.). And now, it is considered sin in Judaism if one eats meat and dairy at the same table. And the ironic thing about all this is that neither the dairy, nor the meat that a Jew would eat, are 'unclean', or sin.
Also, from Genesis, we see that Yahveh and two of His angels ate meat and dairy at the same meal. If this was true for them, and it is, how can it be sin for us?
1. Of course, the possibility exists that you can eat the kid and the milk at different times. Carrying this to all meat and dairy possibilities (when the Scripture only speaks of the kid), chickens which do not give milk, still cannot be eaten together with dairy products. No where in the Scripture does it ever mention the eating of milk and meat together. This is a perverse understanding by the Rabbis.
2. Rev. James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1972; originally written about 1874), p. 73, number 133, says this 'injunction is put in connection with sacrifices and festivals,' the seething of a kid in his mother's milk was an 'idolatrous practice' done, 'for the purpose of making trees and fields more fruitful the following year.' This is seen, 'on the authority of an ancient Karaite comment on the Pentateuch', 'the trees, fields, gardens and orchards' would be sprinkled with that milk.' Charles F. Pfeiffer, Old Testament, Everett F. Harrison, New Testament, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), p. 73, states that, in 'the Ugarit literature discovered in 1930, it was learned that boiling a kid in its mother's milk was a Canaanite practice used in connection with fertility rites (Birth of the Gods, 1:14).' R. L. Harris, Editor; Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, Associate Editors, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 1 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 285, also tells us that, 'Since a Ugaritic text (UT 16: Text no. 52:14) specifies, 'They cook a kid in milk', 'the biblical injunction may have been directed against a Canaanite fertility rite.'
3. The exception to this rule is if the dish is glass. Glass being non porous, the Rabbis allow for this as long as it has been thoroughly washed. But this exception is not followed in practice.
4. Nutritional science tells us that the eating of dairy and meat products together can retard digestion.
5. From the following Scripture we can see that it was actually God (and two angels), that Abraham fed the dairy and the meat to. Gen. 18:10: 'He said, 'I will surely return to you at this time next year and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.' 'And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.' Gen. 18:13-15: 'And Yahveh said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?' 'Is anything too difficult for Yahveh? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.' 'Sarah denied it however, saying, 'I did not laugh' for she was afraid.' 'And He said, 'No, but you did laugh.' Gen. 18:17-20: 'Yahveh said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yahveh by doing righteousness and justice, so that Yahveh may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him. And Yahveh said, 'The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.' Gen. 18:22: 'Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before Yahveh. Abraham came near and said, 'Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?' Gen. 18:26: 'So Yahveh said, 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.' It was Yahveh, the God of Israel, who ate the meal that Father Abraham gave Him and the angels.