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Dosh 23 – Milking 3; Two Types of Mashkeh Habaal L’ochel (Klal 14 Siman 8) Hilchos Shabbos – S0385

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Dosh 23 - Milking 3; Two Types of Mashkeh Habaal L’ochel (Klal 14 Siman 8) Hilchos Shabbos - S0385
  Sponsorships for the upcoming Klalim, which discuss the 39 melachos of Shabbos, are available. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information at or 301.996.5910   We are continuing in siman 8, discussing choleiv (milking), which is a toldah of dosh. We left off discussing whether mashkeh haba’ah laochel would apply to milking. There are two possible methods to disucss:  
  1. If the milk comes lesakein es haochel, to improve the food in some way. In this manner, it is similar to squeezing lemon on fish, in that the lemon truly improves the fish in some way. As long as the food is improved by the milk, it is muttar to express the milk directly onto the food. This is muttar even if the liquid is not fully absorbed
  2. If the food is not benefited by the milk, but the purpose of the food is merely as a pretense to extract the milk. An example would include placing a piece of bread inside a bucket before using the bucket for milking. In this case, it is only muttar if the vast majority of the liquid is absorbed, such that it can be considered that the liquid went directly into a food. If less than that is absorbed by the food, one cannot apply the rule of mashkeh ba laochel.
Practically, when a farmer wishes to relieve a cow of its milk, they will often use something absorbent, such as oats. This presents an additional issue of losh. The melacha of losh is often mistranslated as kneading, but in reality it is the melacha of combining a liquid and solid in order to create a new mass. If so, if one uses a solid which has the propensity to absorb liquid easily and become a mass, it will become an issue of losh. In a similar manner, if one wishes to take something such as metamucil to create more mass in the intestines in order to assist in relieving oneself, simply adding the liquid and solid together will already result in the issur of losh, because its nature is to combine together. The traditional example given in halacha is flax seed, which has similar characteristics.  Returning to our case of milking, in addition to making sure that the majority of the liquid is absorbed by the food, the farmer would also need to ensure that the solid into which they are milking does not have these properties, and will not naturally mass when it comes in contact with liquid.    The Chayei Adam continues, and writes that even  if one expresses the milk into a container of food to improve the food, there is still an opinion that one would be chayav, because the cow is akin to boser (problem 1 discussed in shiur s0384). Additionally, we have learned that even if the cow is considered food, and the issue of boser does not apply, Rabbeinu Chananel was machmir even in cases of food going into another food (s0369). Although the Mishnah Berurah is meikil and does not follow Rabbeinu Chananel, the Chayei Adam is chosheish for his opinion. Therefore, the Chayei Adam is machmir, and holds that it is an issur derabanan for a Jew to milk a cow on Shabbos. However, due to the pain of the animal, which is an issur deoraysa of tzaar baalei chaim, it is muttar to ask a non-Jew to milk the cow. We will discuss this heter further in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.   Summary
  • The Chayei Adam holds mashkeh ba la’ochel is not a heter for milking. However, one may ask a non-Jew to milk the cow.

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