I am having a discussion with Habad about the need to kasher pots and pans from chalav without hechsher: i use chalav without a hechsher, which chabad does not but when they come and eat in my house, i use only cholov ysroel. Some claim that the pots and pans must be kashered: I claim it is not so because even if the Rama and Beit Yosef claim that from chalav akum to chalav ysroel it must be kashered, the milk is not cholov akum (according to rav Feinsteiin). Can you tell me what the answer is with the sources? thank you
Thank you for your questions it gave me the chance to research the topic. I will briefly describe the issues.
1. CHaza"l decreed that milk that was milked without Jewish supervision is prohibited for consumption. Although this is a rabbinic decree since some of the Poskim trace the reason to a fear that the kosher milk was mixed with non-Kosher milk this decree is viewed as more stringent than a regular Rabbinic decree. One of the ramifications of this stringency it the fact that not only is the milk prohibited for use but even the vessels that the milk was cooked in are also prohibited for use until they are properly Kashered. This would not necessarily be the case in other rabbinic decrees (see Ram"a SA YD 115:1). This is the source that your friends are referring to when they request that you Kasher your dishes for use when they come.
2. It is well documented, hence I will not go into the details here, that the modern day Poskim debate the extent of this prohibition in the modern dairy farm where there is government supervision to the quality and source of the milk. While some poskim claim that still today one can only use milk that has been supervised (commonly known as Cholov Yisroel) others (Rav Moshe Feinstein to name one) ruled that one may use the milk relying on the governments supervision as fulfilling the need for Halachic supervision. I do not know the statistics but undoubtedly many observant Halachic Jews as well as many Kasherut authorities rely on the lenient view.
3. Your question in essence is ‘can someone who does not rely on the lenient view cook Cholov Yisroel in the vessels that were used in the past to cook milk while relying on the lenient view?’ This type of question (albeit not directly dealing with milk) is discussed in a few places in Shulchan Aruch, the starting point for the discussion seems to be the following case:
The Beit Yosef (YD 64) discusses a dispute between the French and German Rabbinic community regarding the permissibility of certain fats of the animal. The Beit Yosef himself ruled stringently on this question but the Rama (ibid. 9) states:
וכן המנהג בכל מקום, מלבד בני ריינוס, שנוהגין במקצתו היתר, ואין מוחין בידם שכבר הורה להם זקן. (הגהות אשר"י ומרדכי ורוב הפוסקים) ובכל מקום שנוהגין בו איסור דינו כשאר חלב לבטל בששים (א"ו הארוך) אבל אין אוסרין כלים של בני ריינוס, הואיל ונוהגין בו היתר (חידושי אגודה)
"This is indeed the custom everywhere except the community of Rhine that some of them are lenient on this issue and one should not rebuke them since they were decreed by the elder. Any place that has the custom to be strict about this need 60 to annul the prohibition but should not prohibit the use of the vessels of the community of Rhine since they have the custom to be lenient about this".
The issue at hand is the Torah prohibition of eating certain fats. For those who are strict they think it is totally not kosher while some in the community of Rhine ate these fats obviously ruling they are kosher. The Ram"a states that even people that rule that the fats are not kosher may use the vessels of those who ruled differently since they have a legitimate ruling. Although the Ta"z in his commentary of this source explains that this is only true if there is an assumption that the vessels had 60 to nullify the non-Kosher fats the Sha"ch rules that this is true in any event since the community of Rhine had an official legitimate ruling. The Sha"ch elsewhere (YD119 20) elaborates on this issue and maps out the following criteria:
1. In cases where there is a dispute in Halacha one person is of one opinion and another argues, and the stringent party wants to eat in the house of the lenient party:
a. The host may lay the disputed food plainly on the table assuming that if the stringent party chooses he will simply not eat it.
b. If the disputed food is not clearly visible (i.e. it is cooked or mixed with other foods) it should not be served.
c. The host cannot cook for the guest in his vessels if he is cooking solely for the benefit of the guest but if the host is cooking for himself or for others the stringent guest may partake in the food that was cooked in the vessels.
2. Where there is a local custom where many are lenient and others from neighboring towns are strict the lenient communities may cook for the neighboring strict communities. This is different than the first case since we see whole segments of the community who follow the different rulings hence they have become "מנהג המקום" (i.e. The local custom). The country is viewed as having to two legitimate customs both being the local custom. The strict people may eat in the homes of the lenient people since they also belong to this community (even though they themselves are normally strict about it). If someone from a different country that is all stringent would show up at the lenient home in the other country he would not be able to use the vessels since he is not part of the community that has the lenient view.
If we would implement these rules to our case:
We have a dispute in Halacha regarding the milk that was supervised by the government, some are strict and some are lenient. In fact this case can be regarded as a split within the larger community where by and large the modern orthodox community is lenient on this issue and other communities such as Chaba"d, are strict. According to what we learnt there is little doubt that the strict community can be hosted by the lenient community as long as they do not served foods that they will not eat even if these foods were cooked and prepared in vessels that were previously used assuming the lenient view. Even if one does not accept that this is a case of diversity within the community it is still clear that if the food was not prepared solely for the benefit of the strict party he may enjoy the food although it was prepared with the vessels that were previously used with the lenient view.
In short – in my humble opinion when you invite your Chaba"d friends over, you should not serve them non Cholov Yisroel foods, but you do not need to Kasher your vessels for them. If you are cooking for them (for example you are preparing Shabbat for them etc.) there is more room for debate, I still think that you do not need to Kasher your vessels but I can see room for argument.
All the best
Rabbis of Hillel reply also on Facebook: