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Chalav Akum in Chocolates

What is the din with chalav yisrael milk? Can one drink non chalav yisrael milk in a place with chalav yisrael milk? Is there any distinction in halachah between proper milk and powdered milk? Can one eat chocolates made of powder milk? Are there any sources for this?


According to several poskim, it is permitted to drink non-chalav yisrael milk in countries where there is no milk from non-kosher animals, or where plants that use such milk would be liable to pay hefty fines or closure. Others write that even today, chalav akum remains prohibited.

However, even those authorities that permit non-chalav yisrael milk write that one should preferably use only chalav yisrael.

Some are more lenient with regard to powdered milk, because the original decree against milk did not include other forms, and because the powdered milk is not made from non-kosher milk. For those who are lenient, it is important to verify that the actual hechsher is fully reliable (some of the chocolates with non-chalav yisrael have unreliable hechsheirim, and this must be researched).


The basic premise for permitting non-chalav yisrael milk is that the original prohibition is only out of concern that non-kosher milk will be mixed up in the milk, and that there was no formal enactment prohibiting the milk. This is the position of Peri Chadash (115:6), Radvaz (2:75 (1147)), and others. Although Chasam Sofer (Yoreh De’ah 107) disagrees with this, but several modern-day authorities permit today’s milk, based on the fact that non-kosher milk is not available, and in particular on the government supervision of milking plants: see Iggros Moshe (Yoreh De’ah 1:47-48, 35); Chazon Ish (Yoreh De’ah 41:4); Ohel Yosef 15:4).

Yet, Chelkas Yaakov (2:37) writes that the prohibition applies even today, and adds “Heaven forbid to be lenient”, and adds (38) Mishnah that the Chazon Ish told him that it is prohibited, suggesting that the written permit applied specifically to powdered milk in under extraneous circumstances. Mishnah Halachos (9:155) also writes that the prohibition continues to apply today (as does Kinyan Torah and Be’er Moshe), and Minchas Yitzchak (1:31, sec. 15) criticizes a sefer that quotes Chazon Ish as permitting the milk, writing that today it is accepted to be stringent. Even those who write that one may be lenient, add that one should preferably be stringent.

Concerning powdered milk, see Har Tzvi (Yoreh De’ah 103) who is lenient. This is also the ruling of Zekan Aharon (2:45) and Devar Yehoshua (Yoreh De’ah 17). Although Chazon Ish (41:4) writes that there is no difference between milk and powdered milk, and some are stringent, see Tzitz Eliezer (16:25) who writes that even those who are stringent will agree that chocolate made with powdered milk is permissible.

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