Reader: I have never been a very religious person, but I always tried to keep as much as I knew. My wife knows more than I and I always try to learn from her and do as she does when I do not know something. The question is: I used to wait 3 hours before eating meat after dairy this is the way I always did it at my parents home they probably learned it from someone else, but they are not very religious either, and may have learned it wrong. I know 3 hours is acceptable in some communities. My wife always waited 6 hours, and so she insists that I must too since she does not follow the 3 hours, and she believes it is not correct. What is the real scoop here?
Mesora: There are two reasons why we wait 6 hours between meat and milk: 1) We burp up the meat for that long, ad we do not want to mingle those tastes of meat from the burp, and any milk substance in our mouths; 2) There are pieces of meat in our mouths for about 6 hour, and again, eating milk during this time would cause an intermingling between the meat and milk. According to halacha, one need only wait 5.5 hours and a second more, not a full 6, as all one needs is the majority of the 6th hour. There is a rule in Jewish law, a majority of something equals the entirety.
The Rabbis created this fence to protect us from vioalting the Torah command of not actually eating meat and milk together.
See this article: Milk and Meat