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Waiting after Eating Cheese

What are the different opinions regarding cheese in Eretz Yisroel re the inyan of hard cheese?


There is no need to wait six hours after eating regular yellow cheese in Israel before eating meat.

Best wishes.


The Rema (Yoreh De’ah 89:2) writes that one must wait after eating hard cheese before eating meat. Later authorities write that one should wait just like after meat before dairy (see Shach 15, 17, Taz 4, Pri Chadash 16, Levush 2, Pri Megadim, Mishbetzos 4; Shaarei De’ah 15 & 16, Chochmas Adam 40, 13, among others; see also Mishnah Berurah 494, Shaar Hatzion 15).

Note that the Rema writes that this is a chumra, a stringency, and one should not tell off somebody who does not follow it.

The question is how to define “hard cheese”.

Poskim mention a number of conditions. The primary condition is that it is aged for  six months (such as Parmesan cheese). Alternative conditions mentioned by poskim are that the cheese has holes (Swiss Cheese), it is extremely fatty and greasy, or extremely strong.

Standard everyday cheeses, such as those used for grilled cheese, pizza, and so on (American, Yerushalayim, Mozzerella, etc.), do not fit any of these criteria, and therefore there is therefore no obligation to wait after eating these cheeses. This halachah is ruled by many contemporary authorities, including Rav Aharon Kotler, the Chazon Ish, and Rav Moshe Feinstein – as cited by numerous modern works.

There are various citations in the name of Rav Shomo Zalman Auerbach, which are difficult to rely on, and there is a teshuva of Rav Wosner (2:35) who is stringent, but the stringency is on account of difficulty in knowing how long the cheeses are aged for.

The only clear opinion which is stringent is Rav Elyashiv (Kovetz Teshuvos Vol. 1, 58, 2). It is hard to understand the reasoning, and because this is clearly a minority opinion one does not have to be stringent for it.

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