Worms In Fish

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    B”H, we in America have choshuve rabbanim including Rav Belsky Shlita from Torah Vodaath and Rav Roth Shlita who say its no problem. so WE can rely on our gedolim while those in EY can rely on theirs. Rav Belsky has went into this topic DEEPLY and came to a conclusion that there is no problem with the worms in the fish, and has brought valid proofs to support his conclusion.


    I recently heard from Rav Gronish that the other G’dolim were still looking into it and had not come to a conclusion at least about one particular fish from China or some similar “wild” area.

    Anyway I think I heard him say thay all agree that farm raised fish or anything with a a good hescher is no problem.

    I could be wrong so no one should rely on what I post here I’m just putting out ideas for anyone who wants to, to check up on.


    I don’t know of American poskim who say there’s a problem.


    In Rav Vai’s book, there are full color pics of what to look for. And there are very visible parasites.


    koma – “In Rav Vai’s book, there are full color pics of what to look for. And there are very visible parasites.”

    Do you think Rav Belsky doesn’t know about these in full color parasites? Do you think none of our g’dolim and poskim, past and present, needed to read this book in order to know what to look for?


    Please remember.

    There are many Gdolim in Eretz Yisroel that do not believe there is any problem or issue with wild salmon or any other fish regarding worms that are found in flesh of the fish, Anisakis worms or others.

    Canned salmon which is usually eaten as salmon patties, (i.e. the salmon is ground or minced) pose no problem at all, as any worm that might be there has been ground up in is nullified (Batel).


    Do you think Rav Belsky doesn’t know about these in full color parasites? Do you think none of our g’dolim and poskim, past and present, needed to read this book in order to know what to look for?

    I know when I asked Rav Sheinberg he referred me to Rav Vai. This was years ago when Rav Sheinberg was holding in all of shas and poskim. Rav Revach who is as well an expert clearly says the same. These are the psakim of Rav Elyashiv as well. The shayla is not only halachic, it’s a matter of professional expertise.


    And believe me rav belsky is alot more then expertise, rav belsky knows everythig from kashrus to Halacha to astronomy, rav belsky knows every star in the sky, in kashrus it’s very hard to find someone who is more experienced and knowledgable then rav belsky.


    A Response to the OU Response on Worms in Fish

    International News

    By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

    on Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Rabbi Mordechai Kuber, the OU representative in Eretz Yisroel,

    recently penned a response to the ruling issued by Maran HaRav Elyashiv Shlita, Rav Karelitz, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Gestetner, Rav Shternbuch and Rav Shmuel Auerbach. Below is a response to Rabbi

    Ferocious debate has erupted recently concerning contemporary worms found in the flesh of fish. [Ferocious? The term seems a bit


    Shulchan Aruch (YD 84:16) explicitly rules that fish-flesh worms are permitted, because they originate within the flesh, whereas stomach worms are prohibited, because they enter the fish from the outside.

    the host fish.

    [No one has claimed that the ruling is limited to ancient worms. There are still many worms today, that are clearly permitted. This is

    either because they entered the fish through the skin, or because they first became visible in the flesh. The debate revolves only about one

    with Shulchan Aruch to forbid this worm, as the Shulchan Aruch writes that worms that come from the stomach are forbidden.]

    This list of respected Poskim and Gedolei Hador base their ruling on scientific papers, and on evidence presented and interpreted by Rav

    Shneur Zalman Revach, an Israeli Rav with more piscatorial experience than many fishmongers, that indicate that contemporary fish-flesh

    worms migrate to the flesh from the stomachs.

    The Rabbanim who steadfastly cling to their position that even contemporary fish-flesh worms are permitted argue that Shulchan

    [This is an extreme statement, especially in light of the fact that the Gedolei haPoskim have stated that the Shulchan Aruch is not

    We often find Achronim qualifying and explaining the words of the Shulchan Aruch, and there is no difference here.]

    Rather, the blanket ruling proves that migration is impossible.

    [Rabbi Kuber is making a categorical statement that there is a blanket ruling issued here by the Mechaber, and then states that this proves

    that migration is impossible. Except for our own eyes can witness this migration.]

    [Who exactly invoked Chazal versus scientists here? This is a plain case of a simple reading of Shulchan Aruch. Did the author of the

    Shulchan Aruch mean to permit worms in the flesh when we see them come out of the stomach, o not? This issue has nothing at all to do with

    Chazal versus science.]

    entertains the possibility that some Rishonim, in contrast to Shulchan Aruch, do not interpret the Gemara as granting blanket approval to

    fish-flesh worms, but rather only to a specific worm. Thus, even Talmudic law prohibits contemporary fish-flesh worms, for they are of

    a different species. Rav Wosner acknowledges that Shulchan Aruch does not follow this view (Sheivet Haleivi 4:83 and 7:123).

    [A careful reading of the Shaivet HaLevi 4:83, a letter to Reb Shmuel Shmelke Friedman, will show the reader that this is not a correct

    referring to a general assumption that can be made with most worms, but he clearly never states that the Shulchan Aruch does not follow

    However, his conclusion at the end as well is that the Shulchan Aruch was not referring to the worm that comes from elsewhere. To read this

    Rav Moshe Mordechai Karp, a distinguished neighborhood Rav in Kiryat Sefer who has championed this cause, suggests that many Rishonim and

    Poskim, and perhaps even Shulchan Aruch, do not issue a blanket ruling. Rather, they permit flesh worms only if we are certain that

    they do not originate outside the fish. However, they are prohibited if reasonable doubt exists concerning their origin. Thus, migratory

    worms of yore that were comparable to contemporary worms, which are purportedly migratory, were prohibited even in Talmudic days, and the

    Poskim who prohibit contemporary fish-flesh worms, but unlike the aforementioned Poskim, acknowledge the difficulty presented by

    absence of contrary evidence.

    [This is correct.]

    Thus, Shulchan Aruch rules that one need not be concerned about the possibility that fish-flesh worms have migrated from the stomach, for

    such an occurrence is rare enough to permit ignoring its then infrequent, or non-existent, incidence.

    [At times it is infrequent, and at times it is more frequent. Now, clearly, it is frequent.]

    But if we are faced with evidence that a certain worm has migratory powers, we cannot ignore it. We are forced to say that this worm has

    developed, or enhanced, its migratory powers since the codifying of the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch. Second, modern-day catching and

    delivery methods allow fish to remain ungutted for much longer than in centuries, or even in decades, gone by.

    [We must also be aware that, according to those who visited the actual fishing boats, much of the problem comes from partially gutted fish.

    In other words, the migration happens when after gutting the fish is neither examined well nor frozen immediately. This situation did not

    necessarily exist earlier. Generally speaking the gutting was done at home because more of the fish was used back then. When the fish is

    completely whole, the worms generally do not migrate.]

    Therefore, although Shulchan Aruch rules that we may presume that freshly caught fish could not have migratory worms in its flesh, we

    post-catch migration of stomach worms into adjacent flesh.

    The permitting Rabbanim argue that the force of tradition supports their position: since the codifying of the Talmud, no one has

    that such tandem infestation was never reached throughout the millennia.

    permitted. There have been too many changes in the methods of commerce and production to rely on a tradition in an ever-changing


    Rather, there were certainly many incidences of such infestation, yet none of our sages of years gone by felt that the presence of nearby

    stomach worms negatively affected the permissibility of the flesh worms.

    The opposing camp dismisses this argument, and confidently proposes that this is an entirely new situation. They postulate that

    continuing contamination of the waters and environment has created levels of infestation previously unknown. They buttress their

    position by citing testimony of two fisheries that the level of flesh-worm infestation has risen dramatically over the last decades.

    [This information comes from the British health agencies, as well as the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.]

    On behalf of the permitting Rabbanim, we have an obligation to scrutinize the relevance and reliability of this miniscule fishery

    survey. How many fisheries were contacted, and did they all agree? Could the reported higher infestation levels result from more

    never previously realized (see Koheles 7:10)? Decades ago, when infestation levels were lower, were stomachs similarly infested in

    tandem with the flesh? If yes, and so it seems from all available literature, this condition is not new at all!

    [The issues are changes in processing, commercial production, and rising infestation levels. All of these are quite verifiable]

    are prohibited. Most also seem to agree that in a head-to-head match, the word of Shulchan Aruch and Chazal discredits the word of

    dissenting scientists. The only point of disagreement is whether the scope of this particular ruling of Shulchan Aruch is broad enough to

    directly contradict the claim that there are contemporary, migratory worms, whose incidence is frequent enough to require that fish flesh be inspected for their presence. In addition, it behooves us to

    evaluate independently the integrity and legitimacy of the presented migratory evidence, even without invoking the against-Chazal


    There seems to be a peripheral issue, unrelated to the above discussion, of whether Gedolei Hador could be misled by

    misinformation, and whether a non-Gadol is entitled to challenge their halachic arguments.

    migration that was and can be seen, and by the scientific opinion, and yet in a few paragraphs, Rabbi Kuber will argue that the scientists cannot be trusted for anything. The last line here about a non-Gadol

    challenging the halachic arguments of a Gadol are also somewhat disturbing. There is no question that Talmidei Chachomim are permitted to plummet the depths of halacha and may come to halachic opinions of their own (See Hakdama to Igros Moshe Orech Chaim Vol. I), however, mainstream Klal Yisroel does follow the psakim of Gedolei


    A discussion of that issue is beyond the scope of this article. For ease of presentation, this article presumes that Gedolei Hador would recant their position if they discovered that they had been misled, and that even non-Gedolim may debate an issue about which Gedolim have already issued their ruling. Obviously, in the final analysis, we follow the rulings of our Poskim and Gedolim.


    Scientists and Halachah – Suggesting that nature has changed since the days of the Talmud is not novel; Magen Avraham (173:6) and Maharshal (Chulin 7:15) suggest the same.

    However, granting credence to scientists as arbiters of post-Talmudic change is quite a departure from the halachic norm of old.

    But once again, that is not the issue here. Our case is discussing the issue of whether or not the Shulchan Aruch was also discussing a case where it can readily be observed that the worm migrated from the stomach.]

    In theory, although the laws of our holy Torah do not bind scientists,

    they are sworn to veracity by their adherence to Scientific Method,

    their immutable and secularly sacred code of ethics and verification.

    Regrettably, the reality is to the contrary.

    The shelves of research libraries are lined with scientific papers

    full of selective reporting, tweaking, distortions, presumptuous

    hypotheses, misleading conclusions, and outright lying.

    [It is curious why Rabbi Kuber finds it necessary to attack the

    methodologies of the scientific method here in a halachic discussion

    that deals with a verifiable metzius that can be readily observed and

    is backed up by scientists. While it is true that scientists often

    err, Torah thought never advocated a Luddite approach to medicine or

    science. The fact is that the OU itself often relies on food chemists

    for issues and matters far beyond what Rav Revach utilized them for.

    He merely cites them to back up the metzius that can be readily


    oaths as false, he did not mean to exclude scientists.

    We require no greater evidence than the blind adherence of the

    scientific elite to evolutionary theory as proof that scientists

    violate every axiom of their Method in support of their prejudiced

    conclusions. Instead of testing their hypotheses and arriving at

    considered theories, they often work backwards from preconceived

    notions, discarding and distorting contrary information along the way.

    Although there are certainly reliable papers and meticulous

    scientists, it is unwise to presume that their word is unwavering


    Clearly, we must know that the author of a study is trustworthy,

    before giving credence to his conclusions. Whereas Chasam Sofer (YD

    101) embraces the veracity of Rambam to rule that the health concern

    of jointly cooked meat and fish had vanished in the centuries since

    the days of the Talmud, he dismisses the word of doctors who claimed

    that it had since returned in the centuries since the days of Rambam.

    Changing nature is possible, but the word of the scientists in

    establishing that change is of dubious worth.

    change in frequency. And we find from the above Rishonim that change

    has often been observed. The change referred to here is one of


    We therefore must applaud the boldness of Harav Hagaon Asher Anshel

    Ekstein, the Belzer Dayan, who courageously states that scientists

    could certainly not be trusted in this case. He notes that scientists

    do not believe that worms could form within fish flesh on their own

    (Presentation to AKO Conference, Shevat 5770).

    [The parameters of the issue according to most Poskim is a halachic

    definition. Was it identifiable to the naked eye of an observer

    before it entered the flesh of the fish and or did it enter through

    quote of Rav Ekstein is disingenuous because it is not explaining the


    Therefore, he correctly concludes that scientists cannot be objective

    regarding fish-flesh worms. Since they believe that they must migrate

    to the flesh from the stomach, they will perforce misconstrue and

    ignore all contrary evidence, or rush to their preconceived migratory

    conclusions without convincing evidence of such. Thus, the

    conclusions of the scientific papers presented should be judged as

    presumptuous at best, and fraudulent, at worst.

    this argument falls away entirely. Rabbi Kuber is dismissing out of

    hand, all observation.]

    Although most Poskim openly reject the authority of scientists to

    discredit Talmudic tradition, they are less bold when evaluating the

    conclusions on the conclusion of the scientists, or has adopted

    equally conjectural methods. It would seem that a Rav who is the

    mouthpiece for scientists, or who reaches conclusions in the same

    manner, is no more reliable than they.

    Rav Ekstein ignores an equally important point, perhaps because of his

    love of his fellow Yidden, which faults not scientists, but those who

    have used their conclusions as fuel in this firefight. As best as

    this author could determine, there seem to be no more than a handful

    of papers, upon which the arguments of the prohibiting camp are based.

    These few reports are all that has been disseminated as evidence of

    migratory worms, and seem to be all that is available in the public

    domain. This paltry evidence of nature-change seems as mismatched

    ruling as is an untrained featherweight against a champion heavyweight


    [Included with the papers are the observations of the mashgichim of

    the Machon who entered the boats.]

    We also note that even the scientists are quite unclear about the

    source of the flesh worms. The CDC (Center for Disease Control)

    states unequivocally that intestinal worms migrate to the flesh only

    after the host fish dies. They are not discussing migration after the

    catch, but migration when fish die in the open waters and wait a while

    before being ingested by a larger fish. Thus, the scientists admit

    that contemporary worms cannot pierce the intestinal wall during a

    explain the presence of flesh worms that clearly did not migrate there

    in the short time between catch and gutting. Thus, scientific theory

    actually points away from migration!

    Rav Revach has presented his own evidence of migration, although he

    claims that it is all post-mortem. Nevertheless, he has yet to

    present a well-documented paper, and his conclusions must therefore be

    carefully reviewed.

    Rabbanim and Spontaneous Generation – We introduce this section with a

    disclaimer. It is well known that spontaneous generation has been

    scientifically discredited by experimentation for the last 150 years.

    Nevertheless, many teachings of Chazal hinge on a mechanism similar to

    spontaneous generation. In our particular discussion, if spontaneous

    generation of flesh worms is not a considered explanation, we are

    forced to theorize about other possible sources of these worms. The

    most prevalent explanation of internally generating worms that

    substitutes for spontaneous generation is that microscopic larvae

    develop within the flesh to visible proportions, and it appears as if

    they have spontaneously generated. The problem with this hypothesis

    is that it concedes migration of the microscopic larvae into the

    flesh. This is contradictory to the most essential element of the

    theory that permits flesh worms – that worms cannot migrate to the

    flesh from the stomach.

    Therefore, instead, we embrace spontaneous generation in this

    presentation, for it is the only way to explain the words of Chazal,

    without saying that they erred. We mean not to dismiss experimental

    evidence, but just to acknowledge that some mechanisms are hidden. We

    are not certain how fish flesh seems to develop into worms. We know

    that it cannot be because of migrating larvae, but experimentation has

    also discredited flesh transforming to worms on its own. But, we are

    mindful that there is much that we do not know, and that Chazal were

    well versed in nature, beyond their experimental abilities. Hence, we

    the fish flesh transforms to worms, even though we are not certain

    what that mechanism is.

    We acknowledge that many Rabbanim seem duty bound to bend and twist in

    order to allow Shulchan Aruch and the words of Chazal to conform to

    accepted scientific notion. (The theory of evolution is a notable

    exception, and does not evoke such contortions.) In this and other

    embrace of spontaneous generation. They therefore reinterpret

    Talmudic spontaneous generation as the development of microscopic

    eggs, spores, and organisms that have migrated or been deposited from

    elsewhere. Thus, the invisible becomes visible, and appears to have

    self-generated. In this case, these Rabbanim propose that microscopic

    larvae are ingested by crustaceans, which are subsequently ingested by

    the host fish; the still-microscopic larvae then migrate from the

    stomach to the flesh, where they develop and appear to have

    spontaneously generated.

    Unfortunately, this less-than-literal, and perhaps equally

    less-than-exact, contortion leaves considerable turbulence in its

    wake. First, these Rabbanim have thereby adopted the argument of the

    prohibiting camp: there is migration from the stomach to the flesh!

    Hence, these Rabbanim must be presumptuous, and somewhat fanciful, in

    order to validate their position. They are forced to postulate that

    flesh worms develop from microscopic (and hence permitted), migrating

    larvae, while simultaneously claiming that the more fully developed

    and much stronger larvae that reside in the stomach cannot likewise

    pierce the abdominal wall. This is nothing but fantastic and

    presumptuous, and it is as unbelievable as it sounds.

    has been rumored to rule that the size of migrating larvae is

    irrelevant. Even if larva would be microscopic at the time of

    migration, the visible, grown larva is prohibited, since it developed

    from a migratory source. In addition, the scientists are also not

    satisfied, for they claim that the larvae have grown to visible size

    by the time that they and their host are ingested by the next-level-up

    host fish.

    One respected Rav, who apparently realized the extent to which this

    argument is untenable, unfoundedly postulated that larger, already

    visible larvae migrate from the stomachs to the flesh, but that these

    flesh. The scientists are satisfied, but the Poskim are not. On

    halachic grounds, this hypothesis is even more presumptuous and

    tenuous than the biologically untenable argument of microscopic

    migration, which it was meant to positively replace.

    the ingested larvae are not microscopic, without feebly suggesting

    that they become permitted within the flesh. Instead, we would first

    need to say that developing larvae are kosher even within a non-kosher

    fish. Although some have ruled that they are prohibited, there is no

    explicit ruling concerning this, and the law seems to be disputed. In

    addition, we would need to say that the transfer of the larva from the

    crustacean to the host fish is not considered as if the worm left its

    growth environment, for then it would be prohibited. We would need to

    distinguish between these worms and a worm that develops within

    post-harvest fruit and crawls out, directly into another picked fruit.

    In the latter case, we rule stringently, even though the worm never

    was exposed to the outside. In this case, we would have to say that

    the host fish is also considered a growing environment, for the larva

    continues to develop there.

    would propose that the larvae that enter through the nostrils are too

    small to penetrate the abdominal walls, but the ingested larvae within

    the crustaceans are larger, and they could penetrate. Besides the

    problem that we are suggesting the opposite of what the Rav said, we

    would still need to contend that the worms that invade through the

    nostrils would never develop to penetration size. And we also rely on

    two contested and unproven hypotheses: a) worms are kosher even when

    they develop within non-kosher fish, and b) the transfer of the worm

    from the crustacean to the host fish does not prohibit the worm.

    In summary, the case of the changing-nature, migratory camp is granted

    credibility by the reluctance and refusal of the opposing Rabbanim to

    take Chazal at their spontaneous-generation word. Although there is

    nothing wrong with attempting to align scientific observations with

    Vayikra 16:8, at the end) castigation of those who adhere too

    too educated in natural (science). They follow the Greek (Aristotle),

    who denied all that he could not detect, and he and his students

    arrogantly thought that anything that he could not understand per his

    discredited the classic understanding of spontaneous generation, yet

    we are also mindful that the words of Chazal must stand without

    logic-bending contortions. We must embrace non-invasive generation,

    as Chazal seemingly did, even if we are unaware of the mechanism by

    which it might take place. Once we do this, we will be properly

    poised to appreciate the timeless nature of this ruling of Shulchan

    Aruch, and soundly reject the evidence presented in favor of the

    changing migratory nature of fish worms.

    [Regardless of the position one takes on the spontaneous generation

    issue is still a problem since it could very well be that the Shulchan

    Aruch did not refer to the worms that migrate.]

    The position of the Gedolei haPoskim has been made clear. While Rabbi

    Kuber is entitled to disagree with their conclusions and the

    conclusions of Rabbi Revach who has carefully documented and

    researched the underlying issues with leading scientists, there does

    remain one additional issue. There were many Rabbis and Poskim of the

    previous generation that held that animal gelatin was permitted to be

    eaten. Rabbis of the Conservative movement today are of the opinion

    for various reasons, it would have been wrong for a Kashrus agency to

    remain with a policy that gelatin is to be considered permitted. The

    issue of the anisakis worm in fish is no different. It is an issue

    that is rectifiable for the most part. If our Gedolei HaPoskim have

    ruled that the anisakis is a forbidden worm, and this is clearly the

    remove it from our food first and take the issue up with the Gedolei

    HaPoskim later?

    next section will follow in a few days. The author can be reached at

    [email protected].


    Rav Belsky IS a leading scientist, IS a leader in KASHRUS, IS a buki in halacha, and carefully reviewed the topic and with many proofs came to a conclusion that it’s mutar


    cherrybim: “I don’t know of American poskim who say there’s a problem”

    Rav Bess from LA and Rav Reissman from Far Rokoway do.


    All this disgusting and gross talk about worms in fish, has seriously put my yom tov menu in jeopardy.


    Did Hashem not put these parasites IN the fish, and did HE not give us guidelines for what constitutes fish kashrus?


    I don’t know who Yair Hoffman is, but most of his points revolve around an outdated assumption that Rabbi Kuber represents the OU.


    oomis, don’t worry rav belsky is VERY reliable


    Does Rav Belski have a written Tshuva about this?


    oomis: I don’t understand your point. Hashem also says we may eat lettuce, but the the bugs on them. Eat Norwegian Salmon and you’re safe.


    hello99 – Are you saying that we can not rely on Rav Belsky?


    cherrybim: Not at all. I think Rav Belsky’s reasoning is much more logically sound than Rav Kuber’s. However many Gedolei HaPoskim rule it is assur miDeoraisa, and if you want to be safe there is a simple solution to buy Norwegian.


    The Beis Din of the Eidah deliberated yesterday, Monday, afternoon on the halachic status and policy regarding Anisakis. They were inconclusive regarding the halachic status of the worms, but concluded that their policy for now is not to allow use of infested fish.

    So even the Eidah is not convinced it is assur.


    “and if you want to be safe there is a simple solution to buy Norwegian.”

    Again, when I hear it from Rav Belsky; then I’ll want to be safe.



    if you could be so kind, where did you find rav hoffmans rebuttal?


    “oomis: I don’t understand your point. Hashem also says we may eat lettuce, but the the bugs on them. Eat Norwegian Salmon and you’re safe. “

    Let me clarify. Bugs on produce go onto the produce themselves. Bugs walk onto the lettuce, and lay eggs, etc. Fish, may ingest these worms as part of their food chain. Do we check poultry and meat flesh for these worms, as well (if so, then of course, it should be checked in fish)? If it is known that the worms are in the fish’s intestines, the intestines should be discarded. But if Hashem gave us fish to eat, the presumably He knew that fish ingest worms and they might be hard, if not impossible to remove from them. Yet, He did not say, eat the fish with fins and scales, but not if they have worms. Anyway, this topic is for discussion by rabbonim, which I am not, and I go by what my poskim tell me is muttar or assur. So far, I am having salmon and blintzes (not mixed together) for dinner tonight, BE”H. And cheesecake.


    FTR Rabbi Hoffman is a respected rabbi in the Five Towns, and writes regularly for one of the local Jewish papers.


    oomis:”Do we check poultry and meat flesh for these worms, as well”

    No, they are not infested.

    “But if Hashem gave us fish to eat, the presumably He knew that fish ingest worms and they might be hard, if not impossible to remove from them. Yet, He did not say, eat the fish with fins and scales, but not if they have worms”

    Hashem also gave us lettuce to eat knowing that bugs lay their eggs there and it might be hard if not impossible to check. Yet hHe did not say “eat only lettuce if it does not have worms”

    What is the difference???


    I was able to find the following:

    [this is the way the matirim understand Rashi, the osrim disagree]

    Another reason to be matir according to some is based on a checking process done by certain fish companies right after the fish are caught, which may make the sheratzim into a miut sheaino matzui and would therefore not require checking. This method is used in certain kinds of flounder.

    I am in Torah Vodaath where Rav Belsky spoke numerous times about it, and this is just in very short, but there is much depth to it


    Thanks for posting!


    cherrybim: I respect Rav Belsky very much and find his position the most logical. However I don’t understand why you write as if he is the ONLY Posek in the world. The majority of Gedolei HaPoskim have forbidden these worms, and while I am not certain they are based on accurate information, I would be reluctant to take a risk of an issur deOraisa until I am completely certain.


    If Rav Belsky is willing to “take the risk” on an issur d’oraisa; count me in too.


    First of all: i’m not so sure if MOST rabbanim assur it, and by the way,even those who do assur it, don’t KNOW that its assur, their only assuring cause of a sufek, but if Rav Belsky said its mutar, he KNOWS he’s taking a major responsibility and you can count on that p’sak.


    hello99 – “The majority of Gedolei HaPoskim have forbidden these worms”

    You still haven’t listed the Gedolei Haposkim of America who forbade the fish.


    hello99, i’m pretty sure that most AMERICAN poskim have been matir it.


    Cherrybim: You are avoiding my point, Rav Belsky is not the only Posek in the world. Why do you ignore Rav Elyashiv, Rav Vozner etc who are arguably much greater, and certainly a generation more senior than Rav Belsky.

    “You still haven’t listed the Gedolei Haposkim of America who forbade the fish.”

    Actually I have. I mentioned previously Rav Bess and Rav Reissman, and I can add to them Rav Dovid Feinstein. But really Halacha is not regional, why do you specifically care what the “American” Poskim say.



    Actually, halachah IS regional and has been for thousands of years; different parts of the world follow their own rabbis. You can see this in the gemara where rabbis from Eretz Yisrael would differ from rabbis in Bavel. And that remains the case today. For example, Italian Jews eat swordfish and have for generations; who am I as an outsider to tell them that generations of their rabbis were wrong? Yemenite Jews eat locusts; do you have a problem with that?

    I follow the rabbis of my community. I buy all my fish from the same kosher fish store that is certified by the local Vaad. There is absolutely no reason to question my local Vaad, which is very well respected.



    One more thing: We don’t follow the majority of Gedolei HaPoskim; we follow our own rav! If your own posek holds by Rav Elyashiv, that is what you should do. But mine doesn’t. Most American Orthodox Jews accept the OU and that means Rabbis Belsky, Schachter, and Genack.


    No, hello99, you are avoiding my point. Are you saying that one cannot rely on Rav Belsky?

    And actually, halacha is regional, as in “minhag hamakom”.


    Some of the points mentioned here clearly will not get proper justice in a discussion forum.


    cherrybim: You are still avoiding my point. I made my position VERY clear that I very much respect Rav Belsky for what he is, ONE OF the Gedolei Haposkim but not the only one.

    Cherry and charlie: You have a peculiar perception of the process of Halacha. Halacha is NOT regional! A worm is either assur or muttar, as a swordfish is either a dag tamei or tahor, neither can be kosher some places but not others. Would you say that anisakis is assur in EY, Manhattan, Queens and NJ (Rav Forscheimer does not permit their consumption, mi’safek) but kosher in Brooklyn. What IS regional is minhagim, but here there is clearly NO pre-existing minhag. BTW today swordfish is universally accepted to be non-kosher and I don’t believe any Posek would allow an Italian Yid to eat them based on the supposed tradition you mention. Additionally eating OU does NOT automatically make Rav Belsky ones personal Rav any more then it obligates one to say Hallel on Yom Ha’Atzmaut as Rav Schachter and Rav Genack do.

    I do concede that if Rav Belsky is your personal Rav and you follow all of his psakim l’chumra and l’kula you MAY rely on him for this too. But otherwise I think it would be irresponsible to be lenient at the time being.


    hello99, you have a misconception, Rav Dovid Feinstein NEVER said it is assur, i know someone personally who addressed the shaila to him and he did not give a p’sak. All he said was if this and this is the case then it’s assur, but dont make up p’sakim from gedolim


    I don’t know where Hallel on Yom Ha’Atzmaut came in here, was that just to try to besmirch the OU and their Poskim?



    Are you calling my local Vaad irresponsible? Are you of the same stature as the rabbis on the Vaad? How are you, anyway, who gave you semichah, and who gave you the heter to spread such slander?


    Just trying to illustrate that most of us do NOT consider Rav Shachter and Rav Genack to be our Rabbonim in general, even though we rely on them to eat OU.


    You can rely on a non-rabbi Shomer Shabbos Jew who testifies that a food is kosher.


    Also, someone should have told all the great Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim who were at the wonderful Kiddush that I was at on Shabbos, that they should not to eat the herring and other fish they seemed to be enjoying. It seems that they do rely on Rav Belsky.


    hello99, who told you that rav dovid feinstein says it’s assur



    Regarding swordfish, a lot of prominent authorities have permitted it including Rabbi Eliezer Silver z’tz’l and Rabbi Isser Unterman z’tz’l. The OU had a nice presentation on the issues a few years ago that includes actual photographs of kosher swordfish in Italy taken very recently. You can view the entire presentation at ouradio.org by searching on “OU Kosher Swordfish” and scrolling down to “The Three Fishes Part II: Swordfish”.


    “A worm is either assur or muttar, as a swordfish is either a dag tamei or tahor, neither can be kosher some places but not others. “

    Sorry, but I believe you are wrong about that. My friend’s mom came from Ireland, where the locally caught variety of tuna fish is NOT kosher (question about the scales). So her family has never permitted the eating of ANY tuna fish, even with a reliable hechsher, in the USA. Some things CAN be kosher in some places but not in others.


    Could be she doesn’t eat tuna not because it isn’t kosher, but rather because her “minhug” (for whatever reason you explained) was to not eat tuna.


    It’s all very nice to post Rabbi Kuber, and Rabbi Hoffman, but maybe there shouldn’t be comments to such articles. Who are we?

    All we can do is follow our rav (you don’t have a rav you have such a relationship with? Then you definitely have no credibility commenting.) and assume the rav has a solid basis for whichever shita he’s following. If you want to be more machmir than your rav for whatever reason, fine, but keep it quiet. (And if it will make you lose respect for your rav, find another one.)

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