The Status of Imported Milk

Rabbi Yosef Zaini: Milk produced in Israel is more kosher than imported milk

These days, milk is arriving in Israel, in addition to cheeses from abroad that are widely available in stores. Outside of Israel, there is no supervision over the processing, and there is concern about non-kosher milk. We must always remember that milk and cheeses produced in Israel are of higher quality in terms of kashrut

(Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90)

In this week's Torah portion "Re'eh," there is a brief review of the dietary laws specific to the people of Israel, but one of the prohibitions not mentioned is the prohibition of "treif" (non-kosher). Treif refers to an animal that has been injured in a way that the Sages accepted as causing the animal to die in less than twelve months.

Some of the cows in dairy farming undergo various procedures, which in many cases are performed in a way that renders the cow "treif" (non-kosher). It's important to mention that a "treif" cow, its milk is forbidden just like milk from an impure animal according to the general principle of "whatever comes from the impure is impure."

B"H, "Tnuva" dairies perform procedures on cows only in the presence of a supervisor appointed by a rabbi from Tnuva to ensure that the procedures are done in a way that does not render the cows non-kosher.

Milk produced in Israel is more certified with kosher standards.

These days, in addition to cheeses from abroad that can be found in many stores, milk is also arriving in Israel. Outside of Israel, there is no supervision over the processing (and of course, there is an additional prohibition against consuming foreign milk and non-Jewish cheeses). Therefore, it is important to ensure and make sure that both the cheeses and milk are kosher-certified, both in terms of being Chalav Yisrael, and in preventing any mixture of non-kosher milk.

And we should always remember that the milk and cheeses, products of Israel, are of higher quality in terms of kosher certification, and there is an emphasis on buying them also due to the commandment and the principle of וחי אחיך עמך (the mitzvah of supporting fellow Jews).


Rabbi Yosef Zaini is the rabbi of neighborhood 4 in Ashdod


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