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HALACHA-----cholov yisroel

Dear mod,

I'm having a dilemma - my whole family is Chalav Yisroel and I took it on a few years ago - but I don’t feel like it's worth it, I don’t feel like I'm getting s'char because it's just a chumrah, right?

I remember hearing that u should only take on chalav yisroel if u feel that u are on such a high level that you want to - I am always jealous of my friends who eat nonchalav yisroel foods and I don’t really feel like its worth it - should I continue being chalav yisroel or should I stop?

Please see the Halachah/Cholov Yisroel forum where this is discussed. CY is not a chumrah. it is a l'chatchilah. There is a big difference.

Everyone should be makpid on cholv yisroel halachicly, even according to Rav Moshe - he says this clearly - unless there are dire circumstances. You should not be jealous of your friends - they should be jealous of you. You are doing the right thing.

bmguy Posted - 11 June 2002 16:49

I know a that Rav Dovid Feinstein does not keep cholov yisrael. He is one of the biggest poskim in America, and I am sure that if it was l'chatchilah, he would keep it, so why doesn’t he keep it?

MODERATOR Posted - 11 June 2002 16:56

You'll have to ask him -- if this is true. Rav Moshe says clearly in more than one place that unless there is a shas hadchak or some kind of dire need, it is not proper to drink cholov stam.

Ani Yehudi Posted - 11 June 2002 21:36

I asked in the main forum about the fact that my dad told me that there was a candy bar machine in Rav Moshe's Yeshiva, which sold non-Chalav Ysirael candy bars. Was that considered Sha'as Ha'D'Chak?

MODERATOR Posted - 11 June 2002 21:42

We spoke about those machines in the Cholov Yisroel forum in Halachah - Rav Moshe's Yeshiva did much that he did not know about or approve of. Many students went to college, which he himself prohibited, even gave a shmuez in the Yeshiva about it. But he allowed it.

Rav Moshe had his reasons for not making rules enforcing what he held to be correct. Perhaps he felt that not everyone in the Yeshiva was holding, yet, by doing the right thing. Who knows. And that’s even assuming he knew of what was being sold in the candy machine. When I was in yeshiva, there was a Treif candy bar sold in the machine for months and moths and the Rosh Yeshiva hadn’t a clue.

But in any case, your question, which certainly is a good one, does not change Rav Moshe's psak in his seforim that Cholov Yisroel is not permitted except in strained circumstances. The last Teshuva, on this, in fact, is to a Yeshiva.

rabteid Posted - 01 December 2002 1:12

I had a conversation with Rav Notta Greenblat from Memphis who was a talmid of Rav Moshe. He told me that Rav Moshe's psak on Cholov Stam was that it was l'chatchila, and that one could choose based on one's desire to have any specific product should there not be a cholov yisroel substitute of equal quality.

MODERATOR Posted - 01 December 2002 1:23

Please inform Rabbi Greenblatt that Rav Moshe says differently. Refer him to Rav Moshe's letters that are quoted above.

DannyBoy67 Posted - 04 December 2002 16:18

If cholov yisroel is a L'chatchila then I'm man enough to keep it. I have consulted 3 different Rebbeim/Rabbonim
regarding this issue. All of these men are very competent and are Yarei Hashem(From the Yeshiva velt. Phili, Ner etc.not MO)

One is a known posek (learned under many gedolim including R'Elyashiv Shlita) All of them said cholov Yisroel is a nice thing to do but it doesn't have to be kept.
All of these Rabbeim know R' Moshe's Tshuva.

One of them even said if I'd worry about something more important like Loshan Hora.

(BTW the answer wasn't given just to me, it was given to everyone who asked them)

Are all of them wrong? Is the moderator the only person who is reading the Teshuva right?

I don't mean to sound Chutzpadik-- you know I admire you. But it sounds like not everyone interprets this R'Moshe the same way. If I have to keep Cholov Yisroel I will, but if my rebbiem tell me I don't (and that R'Moshe would agree with them) what should I do if the Moderator says I have to?

Are there other gedolim who say cholov yisroel isn’t a L'chatchila? Why are these Rabbonim telling everyone they are allowed to eat non cholov yisroel if (according to the Moderator) they're not allowed to?

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2002 20:03

Well, keeping shabbos is more important than loshon horah - so maybe you should not bother trying to stop talking loshon horah?!?!

I probably would have interpreted Rav Moshe's early Teshuvos they way your unnamed rabbis did - the statement "baal nefesh yachmir" is ambiguous enough to merit such an interpretation, for sure. But Rav Moshe himself, in two places - a letter that was first published NOT in Igros Moshe, but in other places (most notably Rabbi Binyonim Forst's Pischei Halachah) and the latest Igros Moshe, printed a few years ago, Rav Moshe himself interprets what he means - and he states clearly that he means you cannot drink Cholov Stam unless its a shas hadchak.

So what I suggest is, show those rabbis Rav Moshe's later clarifications and then see what they say. But the fact that X amount of unnamed rabbis interpret Rav Moshe one way doesn’t help us unless I know why - especially since Rav Moshe himself seems to interpret it differently

Ani Yehudi Posted - 04 December 2002 21:30

I think the moderator is referring to private letters R' Moshe ZT"L wrote which were not published in Igros Moshe.

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2002 21:47

One is, one isn’t. In the last vol of Igros Moshe there is a teshuva on cholov yisroel where he explains what he means in previous teshuvos.

who me?! Posted - 04 December 2002 22:22

I was told from my rabbi that he heard from R’ Moshe himself that here in America chalav stam is equal to eating cholov yisroel!! Because R’ Moshe says that America has so many laws and... that it wouldn’t be worth it for the non Jewish companies to put the wrong ingredient its even "better" to eat chalav "stam" than chalav yisroel because the mashgiach in the Jewish companies know nothing, are never there, fall asleep, blah blah so therefore chalav stam in America is just as good or even better than chalav yisroel!!!

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2002 22:28

That’s very interesting, but what am I to do, when I read in Igros Moshe differently? Check it up. Then ask your Rebbi to reconcile what Rav Moshe writes versus what he reports. What he writes is clearly different from what your Rebbi reports.

who me?! Posted - 05 December 2002 7:48

I just called my rabbi and he said that R’ Moshe himself drank chalav stam for the reasoning my rabbi does... but the rest of his family drank chalav stam. and he says that even now the same thing applies to R' Dovid's house.

The tshuva that your talking abt he says that what happened was there was a machlokes in the yeshiva there and R’ Moshe wanted shalom al yisroel so he said it should be chalav yisroel. he didn’t mean that chalav stam is assur absolutely not he just wanted to make shalom. it’s not a psak halacha!!!!

DannyBoy67 Posted - 05 December 2002 7:48

"Well, keeping shabbos is more important than loshon horah - so maybe you should not bother trying to stop talking loshon horah?!?!"

For some reason I don't think the Rav I consulted would agree with that statement. I understood your point though. We both know he didn’t mean that. The Rav meant worry about something L'chatchila.
I will take the Moderators advice,-- because it’s always good advice-- and check back with them. I'll give you the feed back when I get it. As always thank you for time. That’s one thing neither myself or anyone can ever repay you for. It's much appreciated and I don’t take it for granted.

grend123 Posted - 05 December 2002 7:48

The validity of the letters in the last volume is not 100% - not all of them (in fact many of them) are actually Rav Moshe. Supposedly a goodly number are by Rav Tendler..

MODERATOR Posted - 05 December 2002 8:05


Rav Moshe's Teshuva (YD:5) does not mention a peep about any Sholom al Yisroel reasoning nor even about any Machlokes. He says simply that the heter to eat cholov stam is "only b'shas hadchak". Its pretty short and sweet. And this letter coincides with the letter to Rabbi Weinfeld of Monsey as well.


You do have to worry about l'chatchilas. They are not hidurim. It is prohibited to make a b'dieved into a l'chatchilah. If something is only permitted b'shas hadchak, that means not b'shas hadchak it is assur. I don’t know you or your situation and perhaps your Rebbieim are taking into consideration the particular level of his audience, where he would hold that they are not ready to keep everything, in which case, obviously, the entire situation is a shas hadchak.

But the heter is only usable in a dire situation, whatever the "direness" (there ought to be such a word) may be.


You’re right - they’re not all reliable. But this one cant be from Rabbi Tendler since Rabbi Tendler himself does not mandate cholov yisroel shelo b'shas hadchak. But someone - obviously not Rav Moshe - did put the titles on the teshuvos, and the title on this one says "Hidur l'hishtamesh b'cholov yisroel", even though the Teshuva says it is indeed not merely a hidur but permissible b'shas hadchak. So the "yad zorim" did get in there, but its obvious they did not make up the Teshuva.

ChaniHersch Posted - 15 February 2003 22:23

R’ Feinstein ztk”l’s original teshuva on chaleiv Yisroel concluded by stating “u’baal nefesh machmir.”

One can take up arms over the correct translation of “baal nefesh”--most hold that it was a concession to Chassidim--but one cannot argue that the teshuva explicitly states that eating USFDA approved dairy is the same as eating treif. The loshon simply is not there.

Moderator, you clearly hold differently. Perhaps you could give us the precise phrase from R’ Feinstein’s teshuva which states that non-chaleiv Yisroel dairy is assur?

As far as I can read into your argument, all of the phrases you’ve quoted to date describe chaleiv Yisroel as a hiddur mitzvah. To the best of my reasoning, if chaleiv Yisroel is a hiddur—a mere enhancement--of the mitzvah of kashrus, then it is simply that, a hiddur, and not a chiyuv.

If you could please post the specific passages which declare chaleiv Yisroel unfit for Jewish consumption, it would be a great help to all on this forum.

MODERATOR Posted - 15 February 2003 22:33

I went through this already. You have to see Rav Moshe’s subsequent Teshiovus, particularly the one in the last volume of IM, where he says his heter for Cholov Stam is only meant "bshas hadchak." That’s a quote.

Truth Seeker Posted - 12 May 2003 19:48

April 15

1. R' Mod,

In your post dated 11 June 2002 17:56, you wrote:
"Rav Moshe says clearly in more than one place that unless there is a shas hadchak or some kind of dire need, it is not proper to drink cholov stam."

Subsequently, in a post dated 11 June 2002 22:42, you wrote:

"...Rav Moshe's psak in his seforim that Cholov Yisroel is not permitted except in strained circumstances."

Obviously, "not proper" is _not_ the same thing as "not permitted". Could you please explain this discrepancy?

2. I would appreciate it if someone could provide the exact citations to the teshuvos that were mentioned here.

3. Could someone please post the direct url for the specific thread on this topic that the Mod. referred people to ?

Thank you very much to all.

MODERATOR Posted - 13 May 2003 9:33

Both "not permitted" and "not proper" were exact quotes form Rav Moshe. The last teshuva is the most specific / least ambiguous and there he says simply you cannot eat cholov stam except bshas hadchak.

iwill Posted - 12 October 2003 19:34

Dear mod:
you still did not refute what someone posted that bec of laws in America where the govmt is so strict and it wouldn’t be worth it for the milk companies to mess up, it is not a [rob to drink chalav stam; in fact its preferable.

Cud you plz answer that statement bec we learned this also in our halacha class.
Thanks so much

MODERATOR Posted - 12 October 2003 19:49

Because the Gezeirah was that a Jew has to supervise the milk, NOT that you have to have some kind of insurance that it is Kosher. Rav Moshe's heter- however far he takes it - is to interpret the Gezeirah that any kind of insurance is sufficient to fulfill chazal's gezeirah, which would make American milk cholov yisroel. But that itself is a matter of interpretation. If the Gezeirah was simply that you need a Jew supervising the milk, then even Rav Moshe would concede that even if you have reason to be comfortable that the milk is kosher, you still did not fulfill the gezeirah.

In addition, even if you will accept Rav Moshe's interpretation that the gezeirah is only that you need insurance not specifically Jewish supervision, who says that the laws are sufficient insurance that would satisfy chazal? If the penalty for violating the law is a fine, but the company will make more profit by violating the law, then how do we know that law is insurance?

Very very often stores violate the Kosher Consumer laws. They put trief meat in the Kosher section etc, and they get fines that do not deter them from being repeat offenders.

Then there is the question as to who says the laws are being honestly enforced? As a certain godol said about the heter of the inspectors: "You give me two hundred dollars and I'll give you four inspectors." What halachic basis is there to believe the inspectors are doing their jobs, being that Akum have no ne'emanus haalchicly?

shmuelgoldstein Posted - 19 November 2003 9:02

The only thing I can say about this Chalav Yisrael topic is what *I* read in R.Moshe's tshuva, and that is he says again and again and again (he's got several tshuvas on this) that the din is that Chalav Yisrael made by the "Companies" (you should see this in Hebrew - it's cute) in the US is permissible.

True, he does say that a baal nefesh, like himself, should be machmir, but each person's going to have to decide if he's a baal nefesh.

Which brings me around to the obvious solution: Leave U.S., with all of the disgusting temptations of shmutz-la'aretz, and come to Eretz Yisrael, where Chalav Yisrael is the norm. Even in candy bars.

MODERATOR Posted - 19 November 2003 9:14

You read the wrong Teshuva.

In two places Rav Moshe explains what he means by baal nefesh yachmir. In the last chelek of Igros Moshe he explains that he only permits cholov stam "basha hadchak" - under dire circumstances. But if cholov yisroel is available - and elsewhere he says that means even if it available at a bit of a greater expense or difficulty - you should not use his heter for cholov stam, but must drink cholov yisroel.

bigmouth Posted - 31 May 2004 9:04

I heard that chalav stam at least then not in America or even in America to some opinions has a special tuma attached to it

MODERATOR Posted - 31 May 2004 9:12

That is based on a Kabbalistic idea about milk that was not milked or seen by a Jew. It is questionable whether or not that applies to American milk if you assume American milk is cholov yisroel. And there is not Halachic prohibition to drink such milk anyway.

taon Posted - 21 June 2004 8:20

can someone chalov yisroel-l still eat food that has been touched by dairy equipment


DannyBoy67 Posted - 27 June 2004 17:14

I'm still trying to get my hands on that new t'shuva from R' Moshe. The Moderator said it can be found in one of R' Forst's books. I've searched R" Forst’s books for over a year and haven’t found it. I did see it brought down in a foot note in some English Halacha sefer quoted from R' Forst B'shem R" Moshe but it said was that one who is able to get cholov yisroel easily is not "roi" to use R'Moshes P'sak.

Why "not roi" and not assur?

I asked one of my rebbeim about this, he said that R'Moshe's psak wasn’t a heter but a S'varah.

It seems like R'Moshe didn’t want people drinking cholov stamm if cholov yisroel is available I can understand why, but from what I've seen its still permitted.
I hear that this T'shuva can be found in the 8th and controversial chelek of Igros Moshe. I'm still looking.

MODERATOR Posted - 27 June 2004 17:22


Cholov Yisroel has the same status as any other food - the utensils that it was cooked in have the status of the food itself. So that pots of cholov stam are considered like pots that prohibited food was cooked in. The halachos are the same for cholov stam as it is for anything else.


The Sharei Deah 82 and Isur V'heter 45:8, write that it is "mechuar l'chatchilah" to have a non-Jew milk your cow for you.


You can find it in Pishei Halachah (Hebrew Edition) vol. 1, p.107.

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