"He [Avraham] took butter and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and placed it before them [his guests]." (Gen. 18:8)

You are aware that all the commandments are divine and reflect something parallel to conditions which exist in the celestial regions. The same applies to the commandments known as "chukim" [literally "statutes"]. They are called thus as they reflect matters engraved, [in Hebrew, "chakuk"], in the celestial regions.

The legislation of meat and milk is an example of this. Just as each of these components by itself is permissible and only mixing them is prohibited, so the Torah had to be especially stringent in its prohibition against mixing two perfectly permissible items with one another. Were this not so, we would find it difficult to understand that joining two permitted substances and making one out of them is so harmful to the condition of G‑d's universe.

As long as there is an evil force at work in our world, G‑d and His name are not one and the same….

It is like a lesson not to confuse the kind of holiness which exists (or, rather, is the aim of the Torah to establish) in our terrestrial world. Even when optimum conditions of sanctity exist in our part of the universe, this does not mean that these two types of holiness can be part of the same "brew", meaning they can be mixed as if they were all the same.

As long as there is an evil force at work in our world, G‑d and His name are not one and the same. These two kinds of holiness are still apart and do not mix. It is our task to strive in this world to bring about a merging of these two kinds of holiness.

When our Sages (see Massechet Gan Eden) said that in the future G‑d will reveal to us the meaning of the legislation in His Torah, including the reason for the prohibition of mixing milk and meat, what they meant was that although these commandments have been given to us to fulfill in this terrestrial world, the condition of this world is not such that it is appropriate to reveal to us the mystical dimension of this legislation as long as this world is infested with the Evil Inclination. If G‑d were to reveal this information to us in our present state of spiritual/intellectual imperfection it might sow doubt in our minds, rather than an additional resolve to observe the commandments meticulously. We might, G‑d forbid, conclude that there are two competing divine powers which control the universe. In the future, after the power of the evil urge will have been broken, and when there is no fear that we would therefore misunderstand the reasons for this legislation, G‑d will reveal it to us.

Once the evil urge is abolished, there will therefore be no need for this commandment….

This will be the period when the deserving dead will be resurrected. Only then will the concept of "on that day G‑d and His name will be one and the same" [i.e. they will merge]. In fact, at that time the prohibition of mixing meat and milk will become superfluous.

This explains why the angels who visited Abraham could eat butter and meat at the same time, as it appears that Abraham served it both simultaneously (see Gen. 18:8). Seeing that the angels do not have an evil urge (Shabbat 89) this restriction does not apply to them. Once the evil urge is abolished, there will therefore be no need for this commandment.

This is what prompted our Sages to say in explaining the verse "you shall observe My statutes" (Lev. 19:19) as meaning: "I have engraved them and you have no right to investigate their meaning or criticize them as any such criticism would undermine this terrestrial universe in which the evil urge is still rampant." (Yuma 67) This is why a similar verse concludes with the justification: "I am G‑d". (Lev. 18:4)

[Selected with permission from the seven-volume English edition of "The Torah Commentary of Rebbeinu Bachya" by Eliyahu Munk.]