Milchigs on Shavous

There is a widespread custom in Klal Yisrael to eat dairy on Shavuos. This minhag is brought by the Rama 494:3. Mishna Berura says the reason is that since after we received the Torah and achieved our status as Jews, there weren’t any kosher meat or utensils available. Klal Yisrael therefore ate dairy. Besides this minhag, there is a halacha according to many poskim that one must eat meat on Yom Tov.
According to the Rama it would sound as if one can eat meat after dairy during the same meal. This however contradicts the Bet Yosef O”H:173 which says not to eat meat after milk in the same meal. To solve this problem, one should bench after eating dairy, wash their hands, mouth, (some say to also use a toothpick), change the tablecloth, and make a recognizable break. Although benching in order to wash again is not permitted (see Rama Y.D. 89:1) the Pri Megadim permits it on Shavuos.
Another possibility is to make one meal entirely dairy and another meal entirely meat. Some wish to avoid this based on a Yam Shel Shlomo who says that one should eat meat during each of his Yom Tov meals in order to fulfill the mitzvah of “simchas yom tov”. The solution which satisfies everyone is to eat meat during the meals, and eat some cheesecake with kiddush after returning home from shul.
In occlusion, there are many different opinions as to what is permitted and what is accepted. If one has a family tradition, one can rely that it has a basis in halacha.
Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Hyman, Mir Yeshiva
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