This article arose from a discussion Benny held. Thanks to Shaul Bentsion, Ted Walther, Zvi Zimri, Uri De Young and Kuti Ben David

Milk Wth Meat Prohibited

The Torah forbids Israelite Samaritans to eat a combination of milk and meat. Exodus provides the textual basis for the prohibition:

You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother. [Exodus 23:19a]

The Israelite Samaritan version of Exodus continues:

For he who does such as that is like a forbidden offering. And this is as a transgression to Eloowwee of Yaaqob. [Exodus 23 19a:19b] (לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו, כי עשה זאת כזבח שכח ועברה היא לאלהי יעקב…)
milk and meat
Sukkot Festival Foods

In ancient times our High Priests and sages found that, according to the Torah, we may eat seventeen kinds of meat. This number represents the gematric value of the word גדי (‘gdi’). Israelite Samaritans understand the word to mean ‘a young animal, such as a lamb or kid’. The gematric correspondences are as follows:

The letter gimel [ג]corresponds to 3.

The letter dalet [ד] corresponds to 4.

And the letter yod [י]corresponds to 10.

Seventeen Kinds of Meat

We may eat seventeen kinds of meat, including chicken, rooster, turkey, quail and dove. Of animals that walk on four legs, we may eat sheep, goat, deer, cow and bull. We may not eat hare, rabbit, goose and duck. Israelite Samaritans understand rooster, turkey and quail to be subsumed under the term גוזל (‘gozal’, a chick or young bird). We may not eat goose and duck, because they do not appear in the list of 17 permitted kinds of meat, and they have webbed feet. Some species of locust or grasshopper are permitted, though, speaking for myself they were never on the menu, and I could not even imagine eating them.


In order to comply with the rule, we have to wait 6 hours (half a day) before eating milk after meat, and 3 hours (one quarter of a day) before eating meat after milk.

If you were to become an Israelite Samaritan I would insist that you refrain from eating any kind of meat until you join the community in Israel. The reason is that, for us, only an Israelite Samaritan slaughterer can prepare kosher meat. The Samaritan slaughterer keeps the commandment to offer the right foreleg of the sheep, goat, bull or cow to the priest. [See Deuteronomy 18:3].

When I am traveling my diet is vegetarian, with kosher white fish (with fins and scales), grilled until well-done. We may not eat any other kind of seafood.

Benyamim Tsedaka


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Milk and Meat


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