Giving Up Chalav Yisrael


I grew up keeping strictly Cholov Yisroel. My parents did and still do keep CY, and in their minds, any non-CY dairy or any kelim that have been in contact with non-CY are just as good as treif. They never ate or allowed me to eat at the homes of anyone who is not strictly CY. The local orthodox rabbi our family follows stands by all of this.
At the same time, 90% of the orthodox community where I live does not follow CY, including most of my friends. I’m talking about strictly Orthodox Jews. I feel really constricted and like I am missing out on so much by this CY restriction. I’ve had enough of it and can’t take it anymore.
I am a fully grown independent adult now with my own job, home, and social life. I want to give it up and eat Chalav Stam, but I know my parents would be angry at me and our rabbi would also disapprove. How terrible would it really be if, despite all this, I stopped following my family custom? Would it be a violation of Torah law? Would you, as a rabbi, apply the word ‘sin’ to the act of abandoning CY when most Orthodox Jews already don’t follow it, and when widely respected kashrus organizations like the OU approve lots of non-CY foods.



  1. While I understand why you feel as you do, I find it difficult to imagine that anyone would relate to Cholov Sta”m as if it were treif. The fact that you were brought up in a home were Cholov Yisarel was the standard, means that your parents would not want you eating anything other than Cholov Yisrael. That would explain why they did not want you to eat in the homes of those who did not share your parents’ approach. I am sure that they were not suggesting that the homes of those who ate Cholov Sta”m were not Kosher homes. Rather, they had their own levels of observance that they wanted their children to keep.

    In any event, your question is extremely sensitive and I think that it would best be answered by a recognized local Posek (I do not live in America). Personally I would recommend that you consider speaking with Rav Dovid Cohen the Rabbi of Gvul Ya’avetz in Brooklyn. Rav Cohen is one of the foremost Poskim in America today and he is eminently qualified to answer you. Rav Cohen can, in theory, be contacted every day at 718-376-7423 between 3pm-4pm (except Tuesdays) and 10pm-11pm.

    Best wishes from the Team